German DL has options

Salisbury School defensive end Bjoern Werner has taken an interesting path on his way to a multitude of college scholarship offers. He is from Berlin, but plays for a school in Connecticut. He is getting recruited by schools from coast to coast. Werner talks about his recruitment, if he has an interest in a specific school and how what his parents think of the recruiting process.

Bjoern Werner laughed in astonishment when he first learned about the recruiting process for colleges in the United States, but now the defensive tackle, who is originally from Germany, understands it fully.

And with his parents still in Germany and his experience of life in the United States based on his time as the Salisbury (Conn.) School, Werner has no geographic bias when it comes to deciding on a college.

So far, his list is eclectic, with schools from Rutgers to California to Oregon to Tulsa and Tulane on it.

"I'm open to anything,'' said Werner, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound three-star player. "The coaches send me a lot of stuff, and at first I didn't know what was going on. But now I do.

"I'm not in a rush to decide. I'm in season right now. I have no time for visits.''

Werner, who is from Berlin, said he wants to take an official visit to California and Oregon after the season, and will add two other schools.

Werner added he is unsure whether or not he will take an official visit to Rutgers because he was already on the campus in the summer.

"It was pretty cool,'' Werner said. "I met coach (Greg) Schiano and all the coaches, and it was really good there. I saw everything. They had the whole day and showed me around.''

Rutgers already offered Werner, as has a host of other schools.

He lists Oregon, Cal, Rutgers, Missouri, Connecticut, Boston College, North Carolina State, Maryland, Tulane and Tulsa as schools of interest.

And although he doesn't have a leader, Werner has a special connection to Cal.

He came to the United States as part of the USA Football's International Student Program. He played as a sophomore in the United States, but spent his junior season in Germany. He came back to the Salisbury School for his senior season, and his recruitment has taken off.

"When I was back in Germany, one of the first coaches to get in touch with me was from California,'' Werner said. "I talked to defensive line coach (Tosh Lupoi).''

Werner said he was in the he played American football in Germany, but the skill level is markedly higher in the United States.

But the concept of receiving a free college education because Werner is an outstanding prep football player remains a perplexing.

"For my parents, they can't believe it,'' Werner said. "It's really amazing. I still can't believe it.''

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