By: Europe’s Elite
There is no set path receive a D1-NCAA football scholarship. There is no magic pill you can take, no person you can meet, no magic juice you can take, that will ultimately allow a young athlete to receive a scholarship. For the international athlete it is no secret that one must work twice as hard to be noticed by a college scout. Simply due to the fact that the athlete lives in an entirely different country, and grow up with a completely different culture than most recruiters. With that being said, often times international athletes must take different risk within their athletic career in order to achieve their goals. Mark Petry and his story can serve as a prime example for international athletes risking it all to achieve his goals. This Hochheim am Main, Germany native, and Mainz Golden Eagles product, has officially announced he will playing college football for Eastern Michigan University in 2020.
In Germany, Mark was known as “the big man with athleticism” on the field. During most of his young career Mark played the Tight End and Defensive end position for his team. Standing at roughly 6’4ft and 235 pounds at the time it is no surprise to see why Mark’s frame was perfectly built for the position. While competing throughout central Germany Mark Petry Johnson had built a household name for himself at the position. At one point he even began to gain a few college scouts attention, and entertained the idea of playing Tight End or Defensive End at the college level. Although Mark and many of coaches felt had sufficient skill level to play Tight End in college, Mark decided to switch things up going into his first year of college ball. As a young 18-year-old, Ma18-year-old to take a risk and attend Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls Iowa to compete as an offensive lineman. After getting a chance to witness Mark’s journey, we can gladly say that his risk paid off!
Like many international athletes, Mark first got into playing football simply because a friend suggested he should try out. To imagine that a simple invitation to a Mainz Golden Eagles practice eventually led to a D1 scholarship is something spectacular. And Mark himself knew after only playing one season of football the he wanted to accomplish something special. He may not have known how he was going to accomplish every bit of his dream, but he never doubted that it was possible. When we asked Mark about his JUCO (Junior College) experience he had this to say:
All the stuff you see in Last Chance U are true! I got lucky that I made great friends and had great coaches! Outside your team, your family (because you are close to all of them, since you all fight for your last chance) it’s just you against the world! You just want to win, for the coaches, to get them out of there too, for the community, for accepting you into their small town! It is a struggle trying to live up to a D1 football schedule, but have equipment than most High Schools! During that time, I experienced a lot and I am glad I took the JuCo route, from a fire in the dorms to living on the bus on the road for a week, to waiting 6 hours in the middle of the night on the side of the road because the tire broke. To seeing people get cut from the team because of stealing and smoking and just making dumb decisions to late at night. The Ups and Downs, because a few players made a dumb decisions, most of that I can’t and won’t tell my mum, but I am still glad I took this route.– Mark Petry on his JUCO experince
The Junior College route is not something everyone is built for. But it surely can be a great experience and opportunity for many athletes like Mark. It is clear to us that the JUCO experience and playing football at the JUCO level has been a great teacher for Mark’s life. Now that he has overcome this small challenge in his young career, he is onto bigger and better things. Lets congratulate Mark Petry on his commit to Eastern Michigan University.
Europe’s Elite is the best news source covering rising athletes from and within Europe. Be sure to continue to follow Mark’s journey to college football. ELITE ATHLETES.ELITE TEAMS. ELITE STORIES