The Berlin Adler have signed offensive lineman Sam Jaeger for the 2017 season.
A graduate of Western Michigan (NCAA Div. I FBS), the 6’5″, 285 lb Jaeger has spent the past three seasons helping the Tollense Sharks of the German third division. He has also found time to study and play for the University of Derby in the UK.
The native of Westville, Indiana, Jaeger spent four years at Western Michigan after redshirting as a freshman.
He is the third import signing for the Adler and with his background will be a valuable asset both at left tackle and as a coach according to Berlin’s head coach Eric Schramm:
“We have a lot of young talent on the offensive line. Sam is an experienced player who has been playing and coaching in Europe for several years. For this reason, he will be an enormous help for us. I am very glad we could bring him to us.”
American Football International asked Sam about his football career and his move up to the Adler.
American Football International: You have been playing in Germany and Great Britain. How did you end up playing football in Europe?
Sam Jaeger: After my time at Western Michigan University was over, I was not ready to be done playing. I tried to come to terms with hanging the cleats up, but I needed to finish what I started. Apart from that, I always wanted to study abroad and travel; something I was not able to do whilst at WMU. Once the opportunity presented itself after my graduation, I expedited by passport and hopped on the plane without thinking twice.
AFI: You played in the MAC. What is the big difference between college and Europe?
Jaeger: The biggest difference is the amount of developmental means readily available in the USA; however I would not say the talent is much different. There are many European athletes, given the resources I was blessed to have, could easily play in the in the NCAA. It is unfortunate major universities and other major leagues around the world do not invest more in the development of the game internationally. It is a MASSIVE untapped pipeline for recruitment, in my opinion.
AFI: You have had the opportunity to travel and study through football. What countries have you visited?
Jaeger: Since my arrival in Europe in 2013, I have gratefully been to several countries. These include: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, England and Scotland.
AFI: What kinds of foods have become favorites?
Jaeger: I would have to say my favorite ‘German’ food is Rotkohl mit Pute und Klöße ...but my father also made that in America using his Grandmothers recipe. I have however become very fond of having a Cheeky Nando’s now and again.
AFI: What made you decide to continue playing with the Berlin Adler?
Jaeger: That is simple. I chose the Adler because I believe in the team, coaches, administration and everyone who surrounds the club. All I want is to do right by their organisations; honoring those who have and will play for them.
AFI: What do you bring to the Adler?
Jaeger: I have played for a long time and overcame just about all the highs and lows one may go through in this game. Through this, I bring both on the field and off the field experience which can be invaluable to those willing to learn.
AFI: The Adler play in the highest division in Germany and Europe. Are you excited about that?
Jaeger: I am excited to be an Adler and join their family. Being given the opportunity to play in the highest division in Germany and Europe is a perk that comes with that …albeit it being quite a nice one.
AFI: What do you bring to the team?
Jaeger: Energy and Passion.
AFI: What are your expectations for 2017?
Jaeger: My expectations are to win. We will do this if we consistently ‘better our bests’ each day.
In memory of my Grandfather who passed away in 2014, I would like to leave this verse for my family.
‘But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’
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