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Ethnic Hungarian punter in the NFL | www.annarbor.com

Ethnic Hungarian punter in the NFL

Sándor Laczkó
September 9, 2010

A Hungarian native speaker from Romania will play American football in the sports’ top league from this season after being drafted by the one of the top teams, the New England Patriots. Zoltán Meskó is one of the few European professionals in the NFL.

24-year-old Zoltán Meskó was only 11 when he moved to the United States as his father, an engineer, won a green card in the US government’s visa lottery and the family settled in Ohio. As reported by the news portal fn.hu, his skills – gained mainly by playing soccer in his hometown of Timisoara (Temesvár) – to kick the ball with accuracy were recognized as early as in elementary school.

In high school, he did so well that the teams of top universities competed to sign him. Eventually, he chose the University of Michigan. Meskó admits that money was also an important consideration in joining college football, a way to save his family USD 250,000 in tuition fees over five years as a football player. At the university, he first received a bachelor's degree in finance and marketing, and went to complete a master’s degree in sports management in April this year.

In the 2010 NFL Draft, Zoltán Meskó was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (150th overall) and played at all four pre-season games as a punter. In the NFL, he does not only stand out as a European but also with his language skills as– in addition to his native Hungarian – he speaks Romanian, German, English and can converse in Spanish, as well.

Sándor Laczkó

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