Finland’s Helsinki Wolverines sign QB Chris Forcier

The Helsinki Wolverines, who play in Finland’s Maple League, have signed their quarterback for the shortened 2020 season, Chris Forcier from Furman University (NCAA Div. I, Southern Conference).

The Wolverines finished third in the Maple League in 2019 with a 7-5 record and reached the semifinals.

Needless to say, Forcier is happy:

“I haven’t been able to play since hurting my arm playing for the Wroclaw Panthers in the first quarter against the Calanda Broncos over a year ago and lost the chance again due to the coronavirus pandemic, so getting this chance feels terrific. It was fortunate I was still in Europe. Coach Mattingly and I have had a chance to develop a great relationship while in Germany and I am really looking forward to the season.”

The 31 year old Forcier, a 6’3″, 212 lb native of La Jolla, California, had signed with the Ingolstadt Dukes in the German Football League but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dukes turned down the chance to play in a possible abbreviated GFL season. He had played with the Wroclaw Panthers in Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego in 2019 but suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. He spent the 2018 season with the Pardubice Stallions of the Czech American Football League. He had stepped away from playing, devoted himself to coaching and in 2017 he helped La Jolla reach the California State quarterfinals. At Furman, he set numerous school records and in his senior year (2011) he threw for 2,265 yards and 23 touchdowns while rushing for another 250. With blazing 4.39, 40 yard speed he attracted the attention of the New York Jets where he spent training camp in 2012 as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars. He signed with the Milano Rhinos in 2013 leading them to the playoffs.

He is not the only quarterback in his family as both his brothers Tate (Michigan) and Jason (Stanford) were Div. 1 college quarterbacks.

Forcier only arrived in Finland a few days ago but had already noticed a change:

“In Germany we had to wear masks but here in Finland we don’t need to. And being able to practice pretty much as usual instead of only once a week on our offensive group is another big plus.”

Wolverines head coach Michael Mattingly, who also moved from Ingolstadt, is delighted to have been able to take his quarterback with him:

“Well I am obviously very happy he decided to come with me to the Helsinki Wolverines because I also recruited him to Ingolstadt. And since there’ll be no GFL season for the Dukes at least, it became clear we had to do what was best for us and the Maple League was that. It was easy for me after having been the head coach of the Seinäjoki Crocodiles for the past two years, to accept the job as head coach of the Wolverines and to persuade Chris to come with me.”

“He will be very important to the team as a dual threat QB and will bring a professional, experienced and winning mentality to the club.”

Mattingly arrived in Finland two weeks ago while Forcier landed a couple of days ago:

“As for the season, ” Matttingly continued, “It will be tough for everyone but football is football. Everyone is excited to play and as of June 1st everyone has been practicing here in Finland in full. I’ve been here for two weeks already so we’ve had a little longer together and Chris arrived yesterday. It will be interesting to say the least.”

The Wolverines open their season on July 30 when they face Mattingly’s former team, the Seinäjoki Crocodiles.



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