On April 3, 1948, President Harry Truman signed the European Recovery Program, a $12 billion plan to fund the reconstruction of war-torn Western Europe. In what would become the Marshall Plan, the goal was not just to pull Western Europe’s economies back to its feet, but to help America’s former enemies — even the former Nazi Germany — but to win them over to the American way of life, both politically and culturally.
On July 29, 2019, the Marshall Plan finally became complete, when a German-born 17-year-old achieved the most American of endeavors — he announced over Twitter his commitment to a college football program.
Alexander Honig, a 6-foot-6 quarterback who lists a 40-yard dash of 4.7 and can broad jump 9’7″, has joined TCU’s 2021 class.
— Alexander Honig (@AlexanderHonig1) July 29, 2019
According to a Bleacher Report profile, Alexander’s father, James, became a fan of American football in 1981 as a 15-year-old. James’ fandom eventually became a passion, and he played in two European Championships as a linebacker on the All-Germany team.
James eventually stopped playing and moved into coaching, and Alexander began playing at age 14. He grew into a 6-foot-6 quarterback with 11-inch hands and an arm that can throw the ball from Deutschland to Normandy.
“He’s enormous, strong and athletic,” 247Sports scouting director Barton Simmons told B/R. “He has very unique physical traits and a cannon for an arm.”
Aside from the fact he grew up an ocean away from the United States, Honig is a prototypical American teenage quarterback. He traveled the East Coast attending as many camps and combines as his schedule would allow. He watches Last Chance U. He has a YouTube highlight tape with a generic soundtrack.
Of course, it takes more than a highlight tape for a German player to catch the attention of American college coaches, so to bridge the gap Honig turned to Premier Players International, a recruiting service started by former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Collier, who became aware of American football talent among European players while playing overseas.
“You made me believe that even though I am a (G)erman QB I would get to play at a D1 school and look at how it played out now,” Honig thanked Collier in his commitment announcement. “Without you I wouldn’t be in this position I am today.”
Honig is not the first German or even European player to commit to a big-time American college football player. German-born Bjorn Werner played at Florida State and was a first-round selection of the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 — though he attended high school in Connecticut. Margus Hunt left Estonia for SMU in order to become an Olympic discus thrower and is now a Colts defensive lineman.
More recently, quarterback Luke Wentz signed with Virginia’s 2019 class out of Troisdorf, Germany.
The Germany-to-U.S. recruiting market is officially open for business — 70 years in the making.