How prestigious is Cornell in California

"Salsa Nacho" and its long way to Marburg

It doesn't often happen that the renowned "Sports Illustrated" announces a new addition to the German Football League, especially not as the first website ever. Marburg's new running back, however, was given this honor and anyone who takes a closer look at the story of the young man understands why. It's the story of falling and getting up, the story of setback and hope, of an unsatisfied passion for American football. It's the story of Silas Nacita aka "Salsa Nacho".

Growing up under difficult conditions in Bakersfield, California, Nacita mastered the balancing act between family and school as a teenager. On the one hand, the boy who had to sleep on the sofa of a different acquaintance in his senior year of high school because he had a falling out with his mother; on the other hand, an excellent student and athlete who made it on both sides of the ball made numerous selection teams and by the way became one of the best wrestlers in California. In the end, it was his outstanding grades that opened the door to Cornell University, a prestigious member of the famous "Ivy League", but did not prepare him for the bitter cold in the US state of New York. After just a year, 99 yards and six touchdowns for the Bears, Nacita turned back to warmer temperatures. Driven by his dream of playing for a big "football university" one day and staying true to his mascot, he was drawn to Waco, Texas, home of the Baylor Bears, a "power house" of the Big 12 Coference. But the dream had to wait. Unable to pay the tuition fees, Silas enrolled at McLennan Community College with the help of a scholarship and waited 40 hours a week until the longed-for move to Baylor University finally succeeded with an academic scholarship. It didn't take long there before the "walk on" was able to convince the coaching staff around Head Coach Art Briles, even if it initially only ranked fourth on the position-internal ranking list. As always in life, he just made the best of his situation, played himself into the hearts of the fans as a "special teamer" and achieved 191 yards with 31 carries. The future looked bright for the man with the big heart until 2015 broke and everything he had worked so hard for was simply overturned.

On February 24, 2015, Nacita was suspended under the rules of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and, after further investigations, finally excluded from gaming at the end of March. What happened ? Alerted about Nacita's living conditions, which at the time consisted of sleeping on the floors and scrounging food, the grandfather of a former high school teammate stepped in and supported Silas from summer 2014 by renting an apartment and groceries. Even as the debt with regard to the tuition fees continued to grow, "Papa Joe" was also there to settle the outstanding debts. An act of charity that became Nacita's undoing. The university started the investigation, interviewed people who did not deny anything and ultimately imposed the draconian sanctions mentioned above. Under the rules of the NCAA, the umbrella organization for American college sports, athletes are prohibited from accepting improper benefits. In the case of Nacita, accommodation, food and financial support.

After a phase of self-discovery, which, as he himself says, allowed him to test his faith, Nacita quickly forged new plans, plans which, after initial hope, turned into disappointment again. Since a university was out of the question within the NCAA, it should be the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, more precisely the Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. The chemistry with the coach was right, the team definitely wanted him "A scholarship was offered. And then withdrawn again, because here too the mighty NCAA had a hand in it. Without an official waiver by the old university, the door of the NAIA was locked. All legal remedies were unsuccessful, the passion." but intact for football.

In January Nacita took part in the "Dream Bowl Combine", a selection game primarily intended as a "scouting opportunity" for the Canadian Football League, and made a lasting impression there too. In addition to the "MVP of the Special Teams" award, brought in by a 60 yard kickoff return, it was "Salsa Nacho" who won the second extension with a touchdown run for his team.

In the aforementioned Sports Illustrated article, Nacita is quoted as saying, "When I said I would go anywhere to play football, I meant it. Obviously, this is not the NFL, but the opportunity is that." I have in front of me. I've always wanted to travel the world that football has not allowed me to do before. Now I'm getting this opportunity through football. Furthermore, and most importantly, the fact that I will have the opportunity, the reputation To answer Jesus and to preach the gospel all over the world. After I graduate, I'm going to Marburg. I'm looking forward to the next step on my crazy journey. "

Certainly one of the most interesting characters the GFL has seen so far.

Bredendiek - 02/12/2016

(© Sebastian Leis)

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