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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

German student uses football to bring him across ocean

Lorrenz stretches out for a catch
Yannick Lorrenz stretches out for a ball while playing for the Wiesbaden Phantoms in the semi-pro German Football League.

Yannick Lorrenz is just an average guy competing for playing time on the Fullerton College football team. He has not seen the field on anything more than a special teams, for now. However, his road to Fullerton College and start in football is far different than any other player on the team.

Lorrenz was born and raised in Wiesbaden, Germany. It was not until his junior year of high school, during his time in Minnesota as a foreign exchange student, that he was even introduced to the game of football.

“I originally tried out for the soccer team but did not make it,” said Lorrenz. “Then I found out the football team does not cut players. I wanted to play a sport and all the other teams were closed.”

When Yannick returned to Germany following the year, he took a love of football back with him.

“When I went back I found a team in my hometown, and decided to play,” Lorrenz said. “I played semi-professionally for two years in Germany. Football is getting bigger and bigger.”

Lorrenz knows that the teams he will be competing against are better than the teams that he is used to facing in Germany.

“You get the occasional guy who comes over from a Division 1 school, doesn’t make a pro team and heads over,” Lorrenz stated. “They obviously dominate. However, unless you play semi-pro, there isn’t much competition.”

Even though Lorrenz attended college in Germany for a semester, he is still considered a freshman at FC. However, that semester does interfere with his eligibility to grey shirt for a season. The fact that he played semi-pro does not effect Lorrenz’s status because it was not pro ball.

Lorrenz only has this year and next year to make his name known to other colleges.

“Right now I have been playing on special teams, and realize that I will not get much playing time this year,” said Lorrenz. “But, my coaches have told me that if I keep practicing hard and doing what I am doing, I will see some time next year.”

Lorrenz is realistic about his expectations going forward, but still strives to take his game to the next level.

“I am a short, slow, white guy playing wide receiver,” Lorrenz said. “I do not think that I will ever play in the NFL, and I do not expect to play Division 1. However, I do know that I can work hard and play for a AA or Division 2 team.”

Lorrenz is a part of NCSA Sports, a recruiting agency that helps connect athletes with the coaches looking to recruit them. They played a big part in him coming over. He actually had some Division 2 and Division 3 schools giving him a look before he chose Fullerton College.

“They send out updates, stats and transcripts to all of the college coaches and really help get you noticed,” said Lorrenz. “I had some schools looking at me, but they were all in the Kansas and places like that, so I wasn’t really interested. Plus, it was a difficult process for me to come over here and they didn’t help much.”

Then Lorrenz receieved and email from the Fullerton College head football coach, Tim Byrnes.

“I got the email, looked at the school online, and saw it was in California,” Lorrenz stated. “The Internation Student Office was super helpful. They pretty much did the whole process for me, and I didn’t really have to do anything.”

Lorrenz has been in Fullerton since January. He is currently taking 15 units in addition to his football commitment.

“It is also kind of tough because my visa only permits me to work on campus,” Lorrenz said. “To be honest though, I do not even know if I would have time to work a job if I could.”

Lorrenz’s father is paying for his school and rent currently, and will continue to do so in hopes of Lorrenz getting a scholarship to go to a university and start his life here. He is currently living in a house with some other members of the football team.

For now, Lorrenz is enjoying his time on scout team and special teams but cannot wait unitl he is given the shot to show what he can do on offense. Once he gets in, he knows he will have to play with that same drive and determination that took him nearly 6000 miles from home to get himself a scholarship.

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