Boston Herald • January 13, 2013
FOXBORO — Sebastian Vollmer is a master at adapting Mark Daniels /@mdaniels06
Even if the 6-foot-8, 320-pound offensive tackle sticks out, he’s learned to blend in over the years.
evident by the German-Texas twang in his speech. He developed that
after leaving his Kaarst, Germany, home in 2004 to play football at the
University of Houston in 2004. Now after four seasons with the Patriots,
he said he’s started to notice a hint of a Boston accent in his voice,
As the Patriots face the Houston Texans in today’s AFC Divisional
Playoffs, Vollmer is nearing the end of his contract. The 28-year-old
has no idea what the future holds for him. He doesn’t know if he’ll
finally settle down or move on to acquire an additional layer to his
And he’s fine with that.
“It’s kind of wherever I am, I feel like it’s home,” said Vollmer. Wherever he’s gone, he’s excelled. And that’s why it didn’t take long for Thomas McGaughey to notice Vollmer.
at an NFL development camp in Europe, the then-University of Houston
special teams coordinator watched in awe as Vollmer, who played for the
Düsseldorf Panthers, excelled in all three phases of the game. “I was like, who is this kid?” said McGaughey, who’s now an assistant at LSU.
McGaughey offered Vollmer a scholarship on the spot. The two kept in touch and hit it off even if there was a language barrier.
didn’t really understand what he was saying,” Vollmer said. “I’m sure
he didn’t understand what I was saying. But it kind of worked out. There
was kind of a trust factor there. That’s kind of why I came to
Putting plan in action
Vollmer took a leap of
faith when he came to America. It wasn’t easy as a 20-year-old. There
were days were he missed his family, friends and his native language,
but he worked hard. “I came here with a purpose,” said Vollmer of
America. “I wanted to, one, learn the language. I didn’t want to
separate myself. I wanted to be a part of the team and just America
itself . . . And I didn’t want to get on the football field and get my
He gained more than 70 pounds and, by his senior
season, he was not only speaking fluently but earned first-team
All-Conference USA honors.
“I could tell, when I was recruiting
him, he had that passion to want to prove everyone wrong or just to
prove himself,” said McGaughey.
Riding a draft horse
the announcement echoed throughout the New York Giants war room on the
first day of the 2009 NFL draft, the words were music to McGaughey’s
ears: “With the 58th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New England
Patriots select Sebastian Vollmer from the University of Houston.”
with the Giants as an assistant, McGaughey spent a good part of the
2009 draft process building up his prized recruit. Vollmer had a solid
career at Houston, but was still considered raw and wasn’t invited to
the NFL Combine.
McGaughey even heard it from the Giants talent
evaluators. “They were like, ‘Hey, we saw your guy today and he
sucked,’” McGaughey said. “They were trying to be funny because they
knew I recruited him.” McGaughey was in the hallway outside the Giants war room when Bill Belichick made his pick. “You could hear a pin drop in there,” said McGaughey. “It was funny.”
surprised more than just the Giants staff that day when he drafted
Vollmer, but it paid off. The tackle, who earned All-Pro honors in 2010,
has been a stalwart on the Patriots offensive line ever since. Today,
Vollmer faces the task of blocking NFL sack leader J.J. Watt. It’s no
easy feat, but he’ll tackle the challenge head on — just as he did when
he came to America and when he came to the NFL.
He’ll do the same next season if he finds a new place to call home. (Lassen die Patriots ihn schon los? Anscheinend ja, denn sie haben ihn seit 2009 nur 4 Jahre als Patriot unterschrieben. --RSB) “My future is (today),” said Vollmer. “Then I’ll go from there.”