Student footballers win scholarships to USA universities

Three outstanding young footballers from Cambridge Regional College have won scholarships to study and play at universities in the USA.

Praise Ayeni, 19, Jacob White, 18, and Tatum Cartner, 18, part of the successful Cambridge United and CRC Shadow Scholars programme, are off to Texas and North Carolina in August to follow their dream.

Football scholars Tatum Cartner, Jacob White and Praise Ayeni

All three have gained distinctions in their two-year Sport Studies BTEC programme at CRC as well as developing their talent as footballers through training and playing with Cambridge United.

Lecturer Tom Hall, who heads the shadow scholars at CRC, said all three were outstanding players and students.

“The Shadow Scholars programme is going from strength to strength and this is our most successful year yet, with great academic results for the students and exciting progression opportunities opening up for them,” he said.

“It is fantastic to have three students in one year winning scholarships to US universities and they thoroughly deserve it. They will be able to play football at a highly competitive level and gain a degree to open up lots of career doors.”

 All three students are hoping for careers in football, and their degrees – studying subjects including sports science, physiotherapy and sports coaching – will allow them to work in sport as well.

As well as playing for Cambridge United, between them the three scholars play for Hardwick, Mildenhall, Newmarket U18s and King’s Lynn.

Praise and Jacob will spend two years playing for Hill College in Texas in the Junior League before moving on to university for two years to complete their degree, while Tatum will be at the University of North Carolina playing in Division 2 for four years.

The Shadow Scholarship programme, which started with just 12 players four years ago, now has 16 in each of the two years and already has 18 signed up for the first year squad starting in September. Students study for a BTEC in Sport alongside high-level football coaching.

For more information, please contact Lynn O’Shea, Communications & PR Manager, on 01223 418773 or email

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