GERMAN DEFENSIVE END WHO FIRST PLAYED AMERICAN FOOTBALL IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH GLOBAL FOOTBALL INITIATIVE MENTIONED AS HEISMAN TROPHY CANDIDATE, WINS AWARDS
Former Salisbury School (CT) and Berlin Adler star and current Florida State starter Bjoern Werner wins ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors and is named Lott Impact Player of the Week
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 – GRANBURY, TX – The early season performances of German defensive end BJOERN WERNER, whose opportunity to first play American football in the United States came through a Global Football-operated initiative, is being touted as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate.
The junior, who has been a starter for Florida State since his true freshman year, has also won ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week and Lott Impact Player of the Week honors, in addition to being considered for the award that recognizes college football’s most outstanding player of the season. He has also been mentioned as a possible high 2013 NFL Draft pick should he choose to forgo his senior season with the Seminoles next year.
Werner was a dominant defensive force for the Berlin Adler junior club team in his native Germany when he enrolled in the International Student Program (ISP) operated by Global Football on behalf of USA Football and IFAF. Werner selected the Salisbury School in the Connecticut Berkshire foothills as the prep school where he would play his sophomore and senior seasons, opting to return to Germany in between.
The in-demand six-feet-four, 255-pound German was highly recruited by colleges including Oregon, Florida, Boston College, California, Rutgers and Penn State before committing to Florida State.
“Several years ago we had a vision to identify international players whose development would benefit from playing high school American football in the United States and Bjoern was among those we helped through the ISP,” explained Global Football President PATRICK STEENBERGE. “Bjoern considered several prep schools in New England before choosing the Salisbury School and it was very obvious from the beginning of his time there that he had a special talent as he dominated games.
“I am delighted that Bjoern, who is very modest about his abilities, is being recognized and is making an impact on the college football scene.”
Werner’s five tackles for a loss, including four sacks, in a 69-3 season-opening demolition of Murray State on September 1 earned him the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week award and also the Lott Impact recognition.
Werner said: “Without the opportunity to attend the Salisbury School through the ISP, I would still be playing football in Germany and would not be here at Florida State.”
The words ‘Heisman Trophy candidate’ jumped off the page when SB Nation writer Bill Connelly declared: “It is impossible to ignore Werner’s stat line: five tackles, all solo, all behind the line of scrimmage. He logged four sacks and broke up a pass to boot. That makes the list no matter the opponent.”
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said of Werner: “When the lights come on, he just can play the game – rush, stop, bat the ball, plays the run. He’s just an instinctive and a heck of a football player. He has a great motor.
“I think Werner combines size and speed. Unbelievably intelligent, plays with his size, can play the run, very powerful.”
In the second week of college football action, Werner claimed a sack for a loss of 15 yards and 1.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards in a 55-0 rout of Savannah State. This weekend Werner and the Number 5 ranked Seminoles take on Wake Forest on Saturday (ESPN, 12pm ET).
Werner has also starred on the international stage as a member of the German junior national team and the 2010 IFAF World Team in the inaugural game of the annual International Bowl played against Team USA.
Other student-athletes who enrolled in the International Student Program, which ran from 2006 to 2010, having been identified by Global Football have also enjoyed successful college football careers and one Chinese kicker is knocking on the door of the NFL.
Long Ding, Kicker, China, New Hampton School (NH), Norwich University (Graduated)
Attended 2012 NFL Regional Combines and Jacksonville Jaguars spring workouts
Kasim Edebali, Defensive end / Linebacker, Germany, Kimball Union Academy (NH)
Junior, starts at DE for Boston College, 6-2, 258
Curtis Feigt, Offensive Line, Germany, Mercersburg Academy (PA)
Redshirt-Junior, West Virginia, 6-7, 317
Kai Brusch, Offensive Line / Tight End, Germany, Salisbury School (CT)
Junior, Fordham, 6-4, 270