Wyoming has had a football player on its roster from Germany since 2011, and this season, junior linebacker Eric Nzeocha is competing for a starting spot at middle linebacker.
But there’s another German on the roster who also is competing for playing time at linebacker.
Luis Bach is a 6-foot-2, 208-pound true freshman from Burgoberbach, Germany. He enrolled at UW in January, and played high school-aged football in Germany with Eric Nzeocha and his older brother, Mark.
“Ever since the Nzeochas got over here I was interested in the program,” Bach said. “Mark, Eric and (former UW linebacker Alex Borgs — also from Germany) have all been talking to me and helping me out.”
Bach said some colleges in the United States wanted him to attend their football camps last summer to see him in person. He attended camps at UW and North Dakota State. Bach said he showed enough to the Cowboys’ coaching staff, despite pulling a hamstring, that they offered him a chance to walk on.
Bach said he worked to save enough money to come to this country to attend the camps, and also had financial help from his family.
UW concludes spring drills Saturday with its spring game, and Bach is listed second on the depth chart at strong-side linebacker behind sophomore Tim Kamana, who moved there from strong safety this spring.
“It’s a great feeling to be No. 2 right now, but I have to improve a lot,” Bach said. “I moved from defensive back to linebacker when I got here. It’s a brand new position for me, and I’m still not satisfied (with my performance). I’ll never be satisfied.”
Bach, 20, said he’s played football in Germany since 2006, but he said in Germany kids are not allowed to play tackle football until they are the a freshman in high school. Until then, kids play flag football.
Aside from learning UW’s system and getting used to American college football, there have been some cultural barriers for Bach to adjust to. One is the food. The other: “I come from a little town so I’m used to be able to walk every where. here, if you don’t have a car you can’t really go any where because everything is so spread out.”