Big Rapids, Mich. - Former Ferris State University quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) made the most of his official professional football debut in the German Football League (GFL) on Saturday (May 12) night in Stuttgart, Germany.
A four-year football letterwinner for the Bulldogs who wrapped up his collegiate career last fall, Schneider guided the Stuttgart Scorpions to a season-opening 10-6 triumph over the defending German Bowl champions in the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns at Waldau GAZI Stadion in Stuttgart. The win snapped the Unicorns' 18-game unbeaten streak dating back to 2010 after they went unbeaten last campaign.
Schneider's 14-yard scoring toss with only 15 seconds remaining in the contest clinched the win for the Scorpions. It capped an 80-yard march that took most of the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.
As the club's starting quarterback, Schneider completed 24 of 37 passes for 202 yards and a TD in the victory as Stuttgart opened the season with a 1-0 mark. In the air, he outperformed his counterpart, who was another Division II product in former Nebraska-Kearney signal caller Jake Spitzlberger. He threw for 181 yards in the losing effort for Schwäbisch Hall.
Schneider is one of only three American players listed on the active roster and among only seven not from Germany. Prior to the season-opening win, he also directed the Scorpions to a pair of wins in two preseason competitions after arriving in Germany for the start of camp in early April.
The Scorpions have played in Germany's top league, the GFL, since 1995 and have reached the playoffs each season since 1998.
As a Bulldog football player, Schneider finished his final season in 2011 with 2,370 passing yards and 15 touchdowns while helping the Bulldogs to their first winning campaign since 2008. He completed 66.2% (215-325) of his passes and was also the squad's second-leading rusher with 464 yards and seven TD's. Schneider had seven games of 200 yards passing or more last fall and ranked among the GLIAC's top performers in passing yards, total offense and completion percentage.
A two-time GLIAC Honorable Mention pick, Schenider earned GLIAC All-Academic Team laurels for the fourth time and was both an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team and NFF National Scholar-Athlete nominee as a senior. The two-time team captain also received the GLIAC Commissioner's Award for the second-straight year and earned FSU's "Most Valuable Offensive Skill Player" Award for the second consecutive season.
Schneider capped his collegiate career by becoming the Division II recipient of the prestigious Morley Fraser Award, which is given to a collegiate football player who demonstrates academic achievement, football ability and leadership as recognized annually by the Awards Committee of the Michigan Chapter of the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame.