Stern Vile (72) learned to play football in Amsterdam before coming to the United States.
Amsterdam native Stern Vile commits to play offensive line for Florida Atlantic. Owls also add Riverside Community College lineman Mustafa Johnson to the class, giving FAU three commitments from JUCO players.
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Growing up in Amsterdam, Stern Vile became a fan of the now-defunct NFL Europe's Admirals.
This past weekend in Boca Raton, one of the players he once cheered for had a hand in offering him a Division I college scholarship.
“Suddenly, I connected the dots,” Vile said of his conversation with Jared Allen, the former Amsterdam quarterback who is looking more and more like a member of Carl Pelini's new staff.
Vile will likely get to talk Admiral football a lot more with Allen over the next couple years. The 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive lineman accepted that scholarship offer on Sunday.
“I like the area. I like the fact that the program is going through a big change and the atmosphere that the coaches are giving off is great,” Vile said.
Vile didn't come to the United States until his freshman year at Eastern Arizona, but he did have a friend who spent his senior year of high school in Idaho.
When that friend decided to go to Eastern Arizona, Vile inquired as to whether he could play football there.
“He showed he could play, we put him on scholarship, and the rest is history,” Gila Monsters coach John O'Mera said.
Vile grew up playing baseball, but switched over to football at age 14, playing in a 5-on-5 league. His high school didn't have a football team so he played 11-on-11 club football before heading to Eastern Arizona.
A redshirt freshman season gave Vile the time to adjust to the speed of American football. He's started the past two seasons, earning second team All-Western States Football League honors.
“He's gotten better every year that he's been at our place,” O'Mera said. “I think the sky's the limit on him.”
FAU didn't begin talking to Vile until last week, but he already had some familiarity with the program.
“I've always been interested in the Sun Belt conference because I think it's a great conference with some really strong teams,” Vile said.
Vile was one of two junior college offensive linemen to commit to the Owls on Sunday. Riverside (Ca.) Community College's Mustafa Johnson also selected FAU.
A 6-foot-3, 300-pound center, Johnson had been recruited by about a dozen schools, including Florida International, Arizona St. and Washington St. He was selected first team All East Conference of the Central Division in the Southern California Football Association.
“That part of Florida is going to sell itself,” Johnson said. “The decision to commit was a no-brainer for me.”
Navarro (Tex.) Junior College safety Jeremy McKnight and Venice High School quarterback Grant Flessner also committed to FAU over the weekend. All four plan to enroll in January.