The Firenze Guelfi of Florence, Italy have announced the signing of quarterback Eddie Printz for the 2017 Italian Football League season.
The 6’3″ 205 lb native of Marietta, Georgia has just finished his junior season at Texas State University, and chose to forgo his senior season and sign with the Guelfi. He had transferred to Texas State as a graduate transfer after playing at the University of Missouri.
The Guelfi finished the 2016 season, their very first in Italy’s top league, in third place in the South Division and were knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.
American Football International asked Eddie about his decision to leave school with a year remaining and head to Italy.
American Football International: How did you find out about playing in Europe and end up signing with the Guelfi in Italy?
Eddie Printz: I found out about playing in Italy through my Athletes in Action mentor at the University of Missouri, Nathan Buxman. He worked with me spiritually in my 3.5 years at Mizzou in my walk with God.
I went to Texas State with the intention to learn the system the first year and start the second. there was a 4 year starter getting ready for his final year. After my first year at Texas State, Nathan told me of the opportunity to join the Italian Football League and the opportunities it presented. Nathan had a great relationship with a man named Ross Stowers who played for Guelfi, and is also an Athletes In Action member.
AFI: You transferred to Texas State. Why not finish your senior season?
Printz: After my first season at Texas State, although the team, coaches and social aspect was great, I felt like something was missing. When I spoke with Nathan, then Ross, I learned several things that sold me almost instantly. First of all, it was a great opportunity to grow spiritually as I would be getting mentored by Ross as well as mentoring my teammates with weekly Bible studies. Being a firm Christian, this opportunity was very appealing as I have never taken on a challenge such as this one.
Along with the coaches and many other things, this sold me on Guelfi immediately, along with it being in such a beautiful historic city as Firenze (Florence). Of course once I spoke with the players and coaches I gained respect for their football knowledge and loved the welcoming they immediately presented. I did not finish my season at Texas State because (as silly as it may sound for a non believer or anyone) I felt very compelled to take on this adventure. When I spoke with my parents about this, they were fully supportive and that is when I knew I wanted to join the Guelfi family.
AFI: How much do you know about football in Italy and in Europe?
Printz: Before I spoke with Nathan about this opportunity, I knew very little about the Italian/European football leagues, other than I had a few friends and coaches who had played and said it was the best months of their lives.
AFI: What are your expectations for the season?
Printz: I have been here one week and practiced twice so far with the team, on top of lifting and meeting with coaches. The team is bonding well and developing already. We are all looking forward to a great year.
Check out Eddie’s highlights from the University of Missouri.
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