Yannick Reyering (Col ’09) grew up in Germany kicking a round ball into a net.
When he came to UVA, he had the same focus—and he put the ball into the net 39 times in a three-year career that included multiple All-ACC honors.
This spring, Reyering stepped into a different world and began kicking an oblong ball through uprights.
His friends in Germany don’t know what to make of it. “They see me kicking in a football uniform, and they’re like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to call me and tell me the rules. What are you doing? Why are you not playing soccer?’”
He’s not playing soccer because his eligibility ran out and he injured his left knee. Reyering spoke recently about his radical shift in sports.
When did you first kick an American football?
In April. The first time I did it, I was out with [former UVA placekicker] Chris Gould. I tried to imitate him, but I soon realized that every kicker has his own style.
Soccer is constant motion. Do you get frustrated having to wait on the sidelines?
Absolutely. The kickers are most of the time doing their own thing and watching the other guys out there running as hard as they can and getting really exhausted, and we’re just standing on the sidelines.
What appeals to you about football?
I took all the penalty kicks in soccer, so that’s kind of a high-pressure moment. Kicking field goals obviously is a high-pressure job, too. I like being under pressure, in the spotlight.
You had a bright future in soccer—drafted by FC Dallas—before injuring your knee. Are your soccer days over?
In some ways, yes. I had a bunch of tryouts when I went home over the summer, but I just had really bad tendinitis that kept me from going out there every day playing soccer—running, cutting, spinning and stuff. The doctors said it’s a matter of time, so hopefully it will get better.
Do you have a favorite pro football team?
I like the Cowboys, for whatever reason that is (laughs). I’ve always liked Dallas as a city, and Tony Romo and TO [Terrell Owens] have always been fun to watch.