German Junior national team QB Leo Kober headed to Iowa Wesleyan

More and more American high schools and colleges have begun discovering the abundance of football talent in Europe and the latest is Leo Kober, one of the brightest young quarterback prospects from Germany. 

Kober is headed to Iowa Wesleyan, a Division III school located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. European players are generally recruited by US schools at positions like offensive and defensive line and European quarterbacks are a rare breed on American college football rosters.

But Kober was groomed in one of the best youth development programs in Europe, the Vienna Vikings program in Austria. Since moving to quarterback, Kober has been a mainstay on the German national Junior team for the past two years. He recently played in the IFAF Paris European Qualification and Final tournaments. ESPN originally identified Kober at their Elite 200 camp held in Germany late last year.

The 6′, 182 lb German native is excited about the chance to showcase his talents at an American college for the next four years.

American Football International: How did you manage to arrange for a scholarship at Iowa Wesleyan?

Leo Kober: I was working with an organization called AthletesUSA which is helping mostly European athletes during the recruiting process. They eventually got me in contact with Michael Richtman, head coach of the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers. We exchanged a couple of emails and right from the start I really felt that Iowa Wesleyan would be a good fit for me as they told me that I will get a fair shot in the competition for the starting QB spot and we also had the same expectations for the upcoming season.

AFI: How many schools have you approached about this?

LK: I approached a couple of schools using different scouting platforms which turned out to be very difficult because they would not even take a closer look at an European player who is not a monstrous linemen.
Except from Iowa Wesleyan there were two other schools who showed interest, one of them also offered me a scholarship.

AFI:  Has anyone helped you with this and if so who?

LK: AthletesUSA helped me the most as they did a lot of important work to eventually secure a scholarship for me. They also helped me to create an online profile on their platform which will then be shown to interested coaches.
Also, German national team coaches Frank Roser and Sven Gloss helped me a lot. Coach Roser helped me prepare for Nike’s Elite 11 Camps hosted in Florida early this year. We practiced in Germany a couple of weeks before the camps but unfortunately I was not able to attend those as I tore the MCL of my left knee. I still took a lot of valuable input from the practice with Coach Roser who is now in the US as he secured a coaching job at the University of Texas El Paso.

Coach Gloss was the offense coordinator of the German u19 national team during the European Championship in France. Even though we did not play up to our exceptions and only got in 3rd place, I still learned a lot and had a great time being with a group of great players!

AFI: How many years have you played football and what is your background?

LK: I started playing football for the Vienna Vikings when I was about 12 years old. I am know 19 which makes it about 7 to 8 years of playing football. It was not before my third season when I started playing quarterback. Our coaches were playing us on both sides of the ball which was great in order of learning about every aspect of the game. I played TE/WR and even got some playing time as a fullback on offense. On defense I played as a linebacker and defensive end.

Because our starting quarterback got hurt my head coach, who was Chris Calaycay, put me in as an replacement. I already knew some of the mechanics as I was also participating in the extra QB sessions before practice. I was then coached by Coach Newman who I believe thought me a lot and had a big part in my quarterback development. He is now the head coach of the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns [Germany Football League].

AFI:  What are your expectations? You have four years of college football and education in front of you?

LK: Our team will be going in to camp with four quarterbacks, one of them was with their program last year already, me and the other two are freshman. My first goal is to get to the top of the depth chart in order to be the teams starting quarterback by the start of the season on September 2. If I achieve that first goal the focus will always be on winning the very next game and hopefully have a winning season! Still the game I look forward to the most is probably the homecoming game on the 21st of October as this year also marks the 175th anniversary of the university. As far as I know this will be one of the biggest events this year.

I will be studying Business Administration and Management at the Iowa Wesleyan University. The university has a very good reputation which was a big part why I chose to go there. My goal is to learn a lot and eventually leave with a degree and great memories.

I would like to thank the Iowa Wesleyan University and Coach Richtman for making one of my biggest dreams come true. I am looking forward to having a great first year with lots of valuable experiences!

AFI
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