Former Baylor Sensation Silas Nacita Signs To Play For Germany’s Marburg Mercenaries

As reported in Sports Illustrated, former Baylor running back Silas Nacita has signed to play for the Marburg Mercenaries of the German Football League.

Nacita, one of the highest profile, and perhaps one of the most single-minded college players ever to arrive in Europe since the demise of NFL Europe, has been at the center of an eligibility controversy with the NCAA and then, strangely also the NAIA.

He created a sensation as a walk on at Baylor (NCAA Big 12) gaining a fan following. He was a fourth string tailback who had become a special teams star thanks to his remarkable athleticism and ability to make plays. His coach dubbed him a “borderline stud” and that combined with his 4.1 grade point average seemingly assured him of a glorious football future.

That all came to a grinding halt when it was discovered that the once homeless student had allowed a friend to cover his tuition and room and board.

He was declared permanently ineligible and booted off the team, shunted into football purgatory. He then managed to find a home at Southwestern Assemblies of God, an NAIA school in Waxahachie, Texas, who offered him a scholarship. But the NCAA ineligibility ruling carried on down to the NAIA effectively closing the door on college football for him.

Germany - Marburg - Silas Nacita.4

A player once prized by top college teams not only for his playing skills but for his academic prowess was now without a place to play.

Along came Carsten Dalkowski who runs the Marburg Mercenaries of the German Football League.

“It was actually one of our linebackers, Sam Weiss, who had contacted Silas to convinced him to come to Germany to play football. And we are certainly happy about it. He will finish off his university studies and arrive here two weeks before the season starts in May.”

Needless to say, Silas is pleased to be able to play football again:

“When you love the game of football enough, you’ll go wherever you need to go to play. For me, this is an opportunity to continue playing the sport I love. I’ve played on some of the biggest football stages in the world, but at the end of the day, football is football whether in the US or Germany. I can’t wait to step on the field again and show the world what I can do.”

Homeless as a high school senior

Nacita’s story is immensely moving. The Bakersfield (California) High School football and academic star lost his father to bacterial meningitis at 16, lived on food stamps with three siblings, clashed with his mother, left home as a high school senior and began bouncing from one friend’s couch to another. As a homeless teenager, Nacita starred as a two-way football player, earned Bakersfield Californian Co-Wrestler of the Year honors at 170 pounds and secured an Ivy League scholarship at Cornell University in upstate New York.

The bitter New York state winters eventually convinced him to seek warmer climes and that is how he eventually found his way to Baylor in Waco, Texas where he walked on, eventually wowing the coaches with his skills.

Although there are so many stories of US college players finding their way to other countries to continue their dream of playing football, Nacita’s story may be one of the most remarkable.

The Marburg Mercenaries are hoping that will translate into victories on the field in 2016. With seemingly every major American sports media outlet covering the signing, there is no question it has already translated into publicity.

With excerpts from Sports Illustrated.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.