In 2022 there are several paths you can take to play division one football in the NCAA. Although it isn’t a common path taken for most players, Seydou Traore’s path from London, England to Arkansas State is an interesting one and makes up of a good story.
Traore began playing football in England, at a later age than most football players, around 15, 16 years old, beginning with flag football and only getting a taste for 11 on 11 tackle football for the first time in America when he played with the Clearwater Academy International Knights. When asked about the move to the United States he told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “it was an experience.” and explained, “I wasn’t scared because of the fact it was a new country, or I’ve never been there. I knew what I wanted to do, and why I was going there. I knew the dreams I wanted pursue and thats where I could make them come true, so I looked at it as an opportunity.”
While in Clearwater, Traore was featured on Under The Radar, and in that feature he was asked why he came to the United States. Why he decided to come play football in a different country. His answer: “I’m trying to earn a D-1 scholarship.”
Earning a division one scholarship is something he was able to do while at Clearwater Academy International. In fact, he was able to secure multiple offers, the first coming from Southeastern Louisiana. “Getting that offer, and the other offers I got, don’t get me wrong I was happy but I knew it was coming.” He told Zlomislic, “When I was getting offers I was extremely happy, but I was in America to get those offers so I was also like, ‘I should have gotten that one’ or ‘I knew that was going to happen’.”
The offer he accepted and the school he eventually signed to was Arkansas State University.
Arkansas State University, and the Red Wolves play in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which may sound like a long way from home for Seydou Traore coming from London, England, but its quickly became home for him. Now in his second season with the Red Wolves, just four games into the season he has caught 16 passes for 231 yards and two scores. He scored his first career touchdown in his sophomore season debut, made a spectacular catch against Ohio State in week two, had 120 yards and a score against Memphis in week 3 and had a career high 7 catches in week 4 against Old Dominion. Clearly in for a big season, Traore has just begun his career at the division one level and has big aspirations, past just the NFL.
To learn more about Seydou Traore and to checkout some of the pieces he and Jordan Zlomislic were able to collaborate on at Arkansas State University.