Yannick Mayr: Excited to prove himself on Europe’s biggest stage.

Earlier this year, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, German Football League runners up in 2019, announced the signing of six new players for the 2021 season.

One of the names that popped out on the screen was highly touted Austrian wideout Yannick Mayr, a star receiver for the Dacia Vienna Vikings.

This was a major signing for the Unicorns and a pivotal move for the 24-year-old Salzburg, Austria native who is thankful for the opportunity:

“My goal is always to compete on the highest level possible, and I am very thankful that Coach Jordan Neuman is giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great organization. I want to be a coachable player, a good teammate, and contribute to the teams success with my effort.”

Yannick Mayr playing QB for Team Austria against Italy in European Championship qualifier Photo: Veronika Lercher

The 6’0″, 190 pound receiver has been playing for the Dacia Vienna Vikings for the last four seasons. In 2019, Mayr caught 30 passes for 571 yards and seven touchdowns, while also adding three touchdowns on the ground. During the pandemic-shortened three game series with the Graz Giants in 2020, Mayr was the focal point of Vienna’s offense finishing with 291 yards and five touchdowns in three games. As a member of the Vikings, Mayr has been a part of three straight Austrian Bowl appearances leading to some of his favorite football memories.

“Any Austrian Bowl we played against the Raiders was special, playing in a big stadium with all the fans under the lights against your biggest rivals. It was every time electrified.”

The road to get to this point was not exactly straight. Before joining two of the best programs in Europe, 14-year-old Mayr was a dynamic running quarterback for his hometown team the Salzburg Ducks. Mayr switched to wide receiver after the junior national team coaches noticed his speed and saw his potential on the outside. After moving to Vienna, Mayr knew his best chance to contribute to the Vikings was at receiver. The versatile former Salzburg Duck has been known to throw the ball every now then, tossing three touchdown passes as a member of the Vikings.

“When I moved to Vienna and joined the Vikings I switched completely to wide receiver, and thanks to my Coach Kössler, who was a big part in my development, I became one of the best receivers in Austria.”

After Mayr’s 2019 season helping the Vikings make the Austrian Bowl, the versatile receiver was invited to the 2019 NFL International Pathway Program Combine in Cologne, Germany.

Yannick Mayr finds open field against Swarco Raiders in 2019 Austrian Bowl Photo: Peter Kramberger

Competing against some of the best talents in Europe was an eye opener for Mayr:

“To have the opportunity to talk with all the scouts and coaches who’ve been in the NFL for a long time was a special experience, I learned a lot in these few days. Also to be nominated as one of the best players around the world to participate in the first NFL international combine was a big honor for me.”

Earlier last year, the young Austrian was invited to a CFL Global Combine as well, once again getting his chance to prove he belonged with the best American football players in Europe. Although it did not go as he had hoped and he was disappointed in his 2019 combine performances, Mayr hopes for another chance to impress North American scouts.

“The problem was in both combines, that they were after our season ended. Right after summer break and just when we started our off-season again. So I wasn’t on the peak of my performance and also didn’t shine really with my size. But I hope I will get the chance to show this year what I am capable of on the field and what skillset I can bring into an offense system.”

Since moving to Vienna and excelling as a member of one of the best teams in Europe, Mayr’s love for the game has grown. The speedy receiver has been dedicated to his craft and his hard work is starting to pay off. He looks forward to the new challenge in the competitive German Football League.

“The more I become dedicated to the game, the more work I put in, that’s when the love with the game grown.”

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football