On Columbus Day weekend David Hedelin discovered Michigan State, declaring the climate was a lot like his native Sweden.
He’s 6-5, 285 and freakishly quick, an offensive tackle who’s run 4.85 in the 40. Hedelin says he wants to become the ninth native of Sweden ever to make it to the NFL.
Hedelin grew up playing soccer and has only played the American game for the last four years. He told Hondo S. Carpenter of spartannews.com, “I have always been a very competitive guy in all sports. I played soccer before and now I play football; that’s even more tough than soccer. I think that the toughness is the reason why I really like playing offensive tackle.” (Oskar Sjölander photo)
Now in his sophomore year at San Francisco City College, the raw, gifted Swede has 18 scholarship offers, including Oregon, Arkansas, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Southern Cal. National Underclassmen Combined rates him one of the top 30 junior college prospects in the country.
In the first play of his Hudl highlight tape Hedlelin lines up as a H-Back and goes in motion. He bounces on his toes before the ball is snapped, like a kickboxer readying to unleash a roundhouse kick to the face. When the ball is snapped he accelerates quickly to the second level, driving a linebacker backward ten yards and pinning him to the ground.
David Hedelin is delightfully mean, with the strength to clear out a rowdy bar, or spearhead an offense that averages 452 yards a game.
On the second play he slidesteps right on a stretch play from his right tackle position, very nimble for a big guy in the way Kyle Long was, an athlete with size rather than a lumbering Bubba. The Rams are pinned near their goal line and need some running room. Hedelin shoves the contain man outside and out of the play as the tailback bursts through a hole five yards wide and out to the 20. A scrum develops, and as the play end Hedelin shoots off his first block and knocks over two more guys.
At H-back again in play three, he slashes ahead of a running back on on the left side, driving a would-be tackler all the way to the first-down marker and eight yards beyond.
Back in Sweden Hedelin used to play for a team called The Killers. His family bought a vinyard in Argentina; he played a year in Spain. He wants a school with good academics and a good football program. After Sweden, climate doesn’t matter. He told Carpenter, “A lot of people might have a hard time adjusting to a new country and a new sport, but I’ve lived in four countries in three years, so it hasn’t been that tough for me,” Hedelin noted. “I love it here and I’m looking forward to the future and where this all takes me.”
He has the agility to develop into a left tackle. At the D-1 level he’ll have three years to play two. “The NFL is a realistic goal,” he told Oskar Sjölander, an interviewer from back home.