Dutch defender Ryan Ten Hulscher pursues football dreams abroad

Photo: Liz Pyles

Despite being 5,229 miles from home, Dutch linebacker Ryan Ten Hulscher continues to focus on one thing: his football dream.

The foreign exchange student relentlessly pursued the sport taking the opportunity to play a world abroad at Siskiyou College in Weed, California.

Before the countless weightlifting sessions, practices and cinema meetings of college football, Ten Hulscher discovered football in his home country and has never looked back. While his friends and classmates in his hometown of the The Hague, The Netherlands opted for football, football’s physique was something Ten Hulscher couldn’t resist:

“I fell in love with it, realized that it didn’t matter how big or how strong you were. If you have the heart and the passion, you can play and be successful. (via Siskiyou Daily News)

The big teenager found out American football playing for the The Hague Raiders. This is where the young man’s passion for the game began to grow rapidly. After high school, Ten Hulscher worked as a manager in a bar and as a daytime office worker, all the while clinging to his dream of playing football in the United States the night.

Now 22, the 6’4 ”, 245-pound first-year linebacker finally made that dream come true when he recently completed his first season of college football at the College of Siskiyou (Junior College). In eight games with the Eagles, the Dutchman led the team’s defense with 51 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, five and a half sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.

Eagles Head Coach Chris Knudsen on the unique success of the international defender:

“He’s a great player and a hard worker,” Knudsen said. “They realize that when you get together in a group you are all the same. You all work together for a common goal and get to know each other. This is one of the reasons I love football. (via Siskiyou Daily News)

Photo: Liz Pyles

The success on the ground came in part from the European to feel at home outside of it. With the help of teammates and coaches, Ten Hulscher was put in a position to be successful. A position the mature freshman is grateful for:

“They are 100 percent behind me,” he said. “They told me to do my best. I don’t want to let them down. (via Siskiyou Daily News)

After an impressive year at the college level, the enormous Dutch The defenseman needs to be able to grab the attention of NCAA coaches. The question is whether he will be back in rural areas California for a second season, or pursue emerging opportunities at other junior colleges or four-year universities?

Ten Hulscher opened up about his immediate footballing future in October:

“It’s a big commitment to come here,” said Ten Hulscher. “It’s a lot of money, so I want to make sure I give myself 100 percent and work hard every day. I am fully committed. (via Siskiyou Daily News)

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