MITCHELL, S.D. – Most college football players dream of taking their game to the next level after college and getting the opportunity to play the game they love for at least a few more years.
For Michael Barnaud, that dream came true.
Barnaud, a linebacker for the Dakota Wesleyan University football team for the past three seasons, travels to Europe in May to begin a one-year career with the Lubeck Seals, a professional football team in Lubeck, Germany. Lubeck has a population of around 210,000 and is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, which is in northern Germany.
Barnaud, who graduated from DWU in December with a history degree, travels to Germany on April 26 and said he will jump almost immediately into practice with his new team. The season starts in May and runs through October. He said the team plays around 10 games per year, but they don’t play every week and are given a three-week vacation to travel and see Europe.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pound linebacker put videos from his college playing days at Dakota Wesleyan on Europlayers.com, a website for football players looking to play professionally in Europe. He was contacted by Jorn Maier, the head coach for the Seals, and decided to go play.
Barnaud, a Belle Fource, S.D., native who transferred to DWU after one season at Northern State University, will get paid for playing in Europe, and he said he also gets to live for free while he stays there. His contract is for one season, and he is looking forward to his first season overseas before thinking about a second.
Barnaud was a two-time All-Great Plains Athletic Conference linebacker for the Tigers. He earned All-GPAC Second Team honors as a junior and honorable mention accolades as a senior. He led Dakota Wesleyan and finished fourth in the league with 103 tackles this season. He had 39 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.