TOWSON, Md. (BVM) — Florian Staehler, standing tall at 6-foot-8, is reaching new heights as an international student-athlete from Cologne, Germany. The 2021 recruit for the Towson University football program is moving to Maryland early to get acclimated in the U.S.
“I’m very excited to move to Maryland to play for the Tigers because it’s a chance only a few players from Europe get,” Staehler said. “Moving to America is the next big step before I get to actually play for the team.”
Staehler signed his NLI on Dec. 16 while he was in Germany and then booked a flight to the U.S. for mid-January. With the Tigers, he plans to redshirt and play as a right tackle.
“Florian will be a great addition to a veteran offensive line group,” Tigers Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Brian Scott said in a press release. “He is a long, athletic tackle projection with a lot of room to grow physically. Getting here in the spring will be great for his development.”
The first time Staehler considered playing football in the U.S. was in 2016 as a player for the Cologne Crocodiles, an American football team located in Cologne, Germany. He played with the team for two years which led him to the GreenMachine, a youth selection team in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
He said taking a trip to the University of Massachusetts in 2018 when he played with the GreenMachine also sparked his interest in playing overseas. However, Staehler knew he was going to have to do so much more in order to get noticed by an American recruiter at the highest level of college football.
He credits being noticed by Towson to the 2019 season he played at the American International Academy (AIA) in Rhode Island. He played there for one preparatory season as an AIA Eagle and used those highlights to show that he could play as a lineman on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. This earned him Premier Player International All-Star Team recognition.
— Towson Football (@Towson_FB) December 16, 2020
Staehler is joining the few international students who have managed to get noticed by recruits from 4,000 miles away. He feels fortunate that he will be playing American football at the DI level since there are not too many people he knows that have made such a feat.
“Never give up and talk to as many people as possible and get yourself help if you can,” Staehler said. “Trying to play football overseas is a process that takes a while.”
— Florian Staehler (@FlorianStaehler) December 2, 2020
However, he is not the only European who has caught Towson’s attention; he is joining Roman Wahrheit who is also from Germany and an upperclassman on the Tigers’ offensive line.
Although Staehler has no plans to play in the NFL, he said he is looking forward to graduation so that he can get a good job. He is planning to study business administration and is looking forward to the collegiate chapter of his life while still representing his country.
— Florian Staehler (@FlorianStaehler) December 16, 2020