Braunschweig New Yorker Lions sign QB Jake Kennedy

The defending German champions and Europe #1, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, have signed quarterback Jake Kennedy for the 2020 season.

Kennedy was the second-leading passer in the Austrian Football League in 2019, playing for the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants, throwing for 2,581 yards and a league-best 36 touchdowns.

The 23-year-old, 6’1″, 210-pound Kennedy from Bellefontaine, Ohio played for four years at Wittenberg University (NCAA Div. III), three years as the starter, where he threw for 7,949 yards and 75 touchdowns while rushing for 687 and 16 scores. In his senior year, he threw for 2,827 yards and 32 touchdowns including seven in one game. He also won 29 out of a total of 33 games in which he played as a starting quarterback and helped the Tigers to two NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference) championships.

The Lions won the German title for the fifth time in seven years by defeating the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns 10-7.  Braunschweig was also rated as the seventh top team in the world in the AFI/Inside Sport Japan Top 225 ranking.

American Football International asked Jake about signing with the New Yorker Lions and about arriving in Europe to play in the first place.

AFI: Why the move from Graz to the New Yorker Lions”

Kennedy: They wanted to explore other options due to my having to finish up school and Braunschweig was a better opportunity for me.

AFI: When will you be heading to Germany?

Kennedy: I decided to come early to be around the guys. I’ll be there by the end of next month

AFI: How do you feel about playing for the defending German champion and number one team in Europe?

Kennedy: I’m honored to play for such a strong tradition In Braunschweig, it’s a great opportunity for me to prove myself. They’re going to get all I got. I wanted to play at the highest level possible, and the AFL was my best situation last year. Now I’m onto the GFL which will be a step up in competition.

AFI: How did you wind up playing in Europe in the first place?

Kennedy: I had some coaches reach out to me on social media after releasing my highlight tape, which led me to to explore as many options as possible.

Check out highlights from 2019 season in Austria.

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