Ten Japanese players have passed the first round of tryouts to play next season in NFL Europe, NFL Japan said Tuesday.
Masakazu Goda, an offensive lineman for the Onward Skylarks, and Ritsumeikan University wide receiver Noriaki Kinoshita are among the 10 who will join preseason training in Florida in late February for further screening. Goda is the first offensive line player to advance past the first round of tryouts held Sunday in Tokyo.
The number of players allowed to join the training camp is the most since tryouts for NFL Europe were first held in Japan in 1996.
Obic Seagulls defensive back Kohei Satomi has taken a step closer to playing his fourth season in NFL Europe, while Rikiya Ishida, a former Kwansei Gakuin University linebacker, passed the tryout for the third time.
The other six players are quarterback Kentaro Namiki (Waseda University coach), wide receivers Michihiro Ogawa (Onward Skylarks), Yu Nakajima (Kwansei Gakuin University) and Satoshi Shimizu (Fujitsu Frontiers), and defensive backs Hiroyuki Shoji (Matsushita Denko Impulse) and Ryota Hori (Onward Skylarks).
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