BRIDGEPORT, W.VA (WDTV) - When University High defensive lineman #66 Matt Minard saw his 2014 season end with a loss to South Charleston in the state quarterfinals, he assumed his football career was done. The team captain was a solid lineman for a program that went 28-8 in his three varsity seasons. For the spring semester of his junior year at WVU, Minard took his studies abroad to the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. And he found something he didn't expect.
So Minard was back in the game, playing on defensive line and some special teams units. It allowed him an opportunity to connect with different groups of students.
Over one hundred college football teams are set up is England. Minard landed on one of the best, and a team that made some history.
American football is gaining in popularity throughout England. The NFL brings multiple games to London each season with the possibility of a England-based franchise still in play.
Minard however acknowledges none of his coaches in the UK could bring the same level of intensity to the game as his high school mentor, the dean of area coaches, John Kelley.