Austria’s Thomas Schaffer Signs With Stanford Cardinal

At 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, Rivals three-star lineman Thomas Schaffer definitely stands apart on a high school football field. And he has done so throughout his football career.

So it came as no surprise that on National Signing Day, the 19 year old Austrian football prodigy would become the first Austrian to sign to play for an NCAA FBS school, as he agreed to attend Stanford University and play for the Cardinal.

Since moving to Lake Forest Academy (high school) in Illinois in 2013 to play football, Schaffer has been making heads turn. His size notwithstanding, the Vienna native has impressed coaches also with his speed and athleticism.

Those attributes have now gained him entry into one of the finest academic and football institutes in the world as he joins the likes of Stanford alumni Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, to play for the Cardinal.

Austria - Thomas Schaffer - 2pic

Coveted by up to 18 top schools, Schaffer finally chose the Cardinal although at one point he had been close to committing to the Oregon Ducks.

Schaffer grew up playing for the Mödling Rangers in Austria but made the huge adjustment to Lake Forest seemingly without a hitch. It was when he participated in the U19 World Championships in Houston, Texas in 2012 that he began catching the eye of football coaches and scouts in the United States.

While Schaffer is a the beginning of his college career, a second Vienna native has just finished his. Offensive lineman Aleksandar Milanovic spent two years at Sacramento State (Div. I-AA) and one year at Adam State (Div. II) and is now hoping for a shot in professional football.

Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart is impressed with Thomas Schaffer.

Source: Football-Austria

Photo credits: Jack Lydon, R. Baumgartner

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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