Conner Sullivan to lead Stuttgart Scorpions back GFL post-season

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 1998 four years ago, the Stuttgart Scorpions have started a rebuilding phase with the goal of being one of the GFL South powerhouses again and, under the leadership of new head coach Jemil Hamiko, winning the division within three years.

The Scorpions sufferd many departures in the offseason, among them starting quarterback Shane Carden. However, a lot of new talented athletes were signed to fill the void. Among them is quarterback Conner Sullivan from the University of South California.

Groomed at the American football powerhouse USC, he joined the football team as a walk-on. Sullivan redshirted the 2012 season in football, sitting behind Matt Barkley, Max Wittek, and Cody Kessler. Sullivan, a received a scholarship in the fall of 2015, and served as USC’s holder on placekicks in 2014 and 2015.

A film major while at USC, Sullivan moonlights as a video creator and now Youtube star. His coverage of the German soccer derby between VFB Stuttgart and Karlsruher SC at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart went viral and is has over 850,000 views on Youtube.

After tough losses to the Frankfurt Universe and Saarland Universe in the first two weeks of their German Football League season, AFI chatted with Sullivan about his signing with Stuttgart and how the Scorpions can put one in the win column. Stuttgart hosts the Munich Cowboys (0-1) this Saturday, April 6 at 6p CEST, noon EDT.

AFI: How did you come to sign with Stuttgart?

Sullivan: I was introduced to Stuttgart through a friend of mine. I spoke to their former players and current coaches, made a profile and from there I felt like Stuttgart was the best option.

AFI: What are your first impressions of American football in Germany? Any striking differences or similarities?

Sullivan: First impression of American football in Germany… its the same game in a new place! I see similar passion from players and I am impressed by the growing following that the sport has here. I honestly did not know what to expect when I signed, but I have enjoyed every moment here, just as I did back home.

AFI: Stuttgart has opened 0-2 against two of the better GFL South teams. What can you and the Scorpions do to turn it around?

Sullivan: As you said, we are 0-2 – This season is long. We will continue to improve every day, focusing on our team, our assignments and our chemistry and that will move us in the right direction. It is very early in the season.

AFI: What do you think you specifically bring to Scorpions?

Sullivan: I am called to be a leader – a guy with experience who can spark the team by making plays with his mind, arm and feet. This is what I bring to the Scorpions.

AFI: Lastly, what goals as a club and a their leader, the QB, do you have in 2017?

Sullivan: Goals for our club: to play for each other. To be assignment perfect and lay all that we have on the field each Saturday. If we prepare to win and execute our game plan one play at a time – we will be happy with the results.

Check out Connor Sullivan’s highlights from first game against the Frankfurt Universe

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John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.