Former SA discus star signs for NFL side

Gerhard de Beer (Getty)
Gerhard de Beer (Getty)

Cape Town - South African-born Gerhard de Beer has taken a step closer to realising his NFL dream by being added to the Green Bay Packers roster. 

The 23-year-old plays as an offensive linesman, and he has been added to the Packers' practice squad. 

Born and raised in Pretoria, De Beer attended the University of Arizona where he thrived at discus throwing. American football was not part of the initial plan, but he thrived at the sport once he was exposed to it. 

Before that, De Beer had won bronze for South Africa in the discus at the 2012 World Junior Athletics Championships. 

De Beer, who was schooled at Affies, was previously in the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills, but he was released before breaking into the first side. 

He is unlikely to play for the Packers this year, but will rather be hoping to impress on the training ground in an effort to secure a deal with the franchise moving into 2019. 

The most famous South African to have played American Football is Gary Anderson, who played in the NFL for over 20 seasons as a placekicker between 1982 and 2004. 

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