Former Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner has one of the more interesting paths to the NFL.
Born in Germany, Werner was a soccer player who tried flag football after playing catch with a friend. Fast forward about a decade and Werner is poised to be a top-15 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
It's a story that NFL teams are interested in hearing as well. Werner said at the NFL Combine on Saturday it's the first thing people ask him. Werner said the teams he's had informal interviews with already – the Packers, Raiders and Seahawks – have mostly asked him about his journey from Germany. Of the 15 minutes teams are given with players at the combine, Werner said about 10 of them are spent asking about Germnay.
"I try to explain everything with a fast pace," Werner said. "But when you have five interviews in a row, I forget these key moments in my life. But I just to explain my passion for the game. I made a lot of sacrifices. I left my country, my family, my girlfriend, just to be here today to be here and pursue this dream."
Werner played soccer for six years in Germany. But because he was bigger, he was taken out of games for hurting people. He started playing flag football when he was 12, and tackle football when he was in sixth grade. He learned about the NFL, though, by playing Madden.
He didn't have a favorite NFL team because he made his own, "The Bjoern Werner team," he said. One of his football coaches urged him to go to the U.S. and go through the recruiting process.
"Just coming from Germany and dreaming about it in Germany watching the combine, and just being here right now with all my friends watching, it's just amazing to be here and go through this," Werner said. "The goal was to be here and get drafted," Werner said. "I never looked back."
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