It’s football time all over the world, in places, near and far. To be specific, far is Japan, where some former Big Ten players will be suiting up to play in the X-League, a top level semi-pro football league in Japan.
Founded in 1971, the X-League is based off of NCAA Division I rules, and it has attracted the likes of past Big Ten players, such as former Michigan stars wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, quarterback Devin Gardner and former Illinois defensive back Earnest Thomas III (Illinois).
The X-League has also garnered the attention recent Big Ten alums, as former Iowa players running back Jordan Canzeri and defensive back Sean Draper will both play in Japan as well.
Gardner, Gallon and Thomas III play will for the Nojima Sagamihara Rise, while Canzeri and Draper will play for Elecom Kobe Finies.
While the number of Big Ten players may seem low, it maybe because the X-League only allows four foreign players per team.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Marc Morehouse tweeted out a link that has a complete list of all former NCAA FBS players which play in Japan’s X-League.
List of American players in Japan's X League. https://t.co/E2aOuqamdg
— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) August 28, 2016