What do people do after college football

College football is an elusive phenomenon

College sport in the USA, especially American football - this is a very special phenomenon that is difficult to understand for outsiders. The players are students, the teams are formally school teams. There is no money, the athletes live in a dormitory or a shared apartment, have to attend their courses and maintain a certain average grade in order to be allowed to stay in the team. That's the page.

On the other hand, there are at least five hours of training every day in a highly professional environment with highly paid coaches and supervisors, games in front of 80,000 fanatical spectators, live broadcasts on television, star hype. In much of the United States, college teams are more popular than professional teams, especially in areas without major cities. In the southern states, college football is more popular than any other sport.

At 19, Werner brought his girlfriend from Germany to Florida and married her. He recently saw his family from Berlin for the first time in three years at Christmas when he flew to their old homeland for a short visit. He has too few days off in his everyday university and training routine, and the plane tickets are too expensive for parents and siblings.

In the city of Tallahassee, which has a population of around 360,000, the German is a crowd-pleaser. "He's one of our most important players, and people like him because he's German," says Rob Wilson, head of PR for the sports teams at the university. Everyone on campus recognizes Werner, not only because of his considerable body size of 1.93 height and 123 kilos. "The Germinator" or "The Berlin Wall" he is called here. He is constantly asked for autographs, from people in town and from fellow students in the classroom.

No matter who you speak to, everyone expresses their respect and admiration for the German star defender. Vic Viloria, chief fitness trainer for the Seminoles, says, “When we get foreign football players, we usually have to give them plenty of time to get used to and slowly introduce them. But when Björn arrived here, he was doing things that you normally only see from people who have been playing at a high level in the USA for 10 to 15 years. "

It is his outstanding talent paired with great ambition and his strong will to win that has made Werner one of the dominant players of this college season. As a defensive end, it is his job to stop the opposing running plays or to break through to the opposing quarterback and wrestle him to the ground. The latter is called “sack” and is the king's statistic for players in the defensive row. The Berliner has 13 sacks in the current season, a top figure for all of the USA. He is also one of the best in his position in other important individual statistics such as tackles or blocked passes.

Björn Werner takes the awards and praise calmly, and the imminent step into the NFL also seems to be a matter of course for him. “That was the plan from the start,” he says. On New Year's Day, the boy from Berlin will meet Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl, one of the biggest college championship games. It could be his last game for the Seminoles. The portrait in the locker room will remember him in the future. And maybe one day his picture will also be in an NFL team's gallery of honor.

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