Aug. 21, 2012
Story by Devon Esplin
Being able to manage time, having the desire to be the best and following through are just as vital to becoming a successful athlete as their innate athletic ability. For Florida Atlantic University junior defensive lineman Andrew Stryffelerit started in Sanford, North Carolina where Stryffeler picked up his first pig skin. Throughout his football career, he had support from many sources including, his biggest influence coming from his older brother Mike who emphasized never settling for less than you want.
Mike's words rang true once more during the college recruiting process. Stryffler, one of the few athletes to join FAU as a scholarship football player who did not hail from the state of Florida, was recruited and offered the opportunity to play at FAU. When asked why he chose to accept the offer, Andrew replied that he wanted an opportunity to play for a legend, in Howard Schnellenberger. Schnellenberger is FAU's former head football coach as well as the offensive coordinator for the only undefeated NFL team - the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the holder of five collegiate national championship rings. His time management, preparation and diligence paid off during Stryffeler's sophomore season. He recorded his most memorable collegiate moment to date with his first collegiate tackle and it came at Michigan State.
When it comes to school, Stryffeler is all about the grades. A member of the High School National Honor Society, he continues to achieve academic excellence earning a spot on the FAU Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester and has been a member of the Dean's (three times) or President's list (four times).
The rising junior attended an NCAA workshop where he stumbled upon a summer internship workshop with a local financial company. Stryffeler enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and network in his future field. He also enjoyed being able to manage the internship like his own business, creating his hours and essentially serving as his own boss. Even being the boss he could not get away from a dramatic change in attire. Like most college student, he was accustomed to wearing a t-shirt, shorts and a hat. His summer attire required professional wardrobe including a suit and tie every day. Besides the suits and summer heat, cold calling was the most difficult for Stryeffler, who found it hard to get financial information over the phone from people who he had not had the opportunity to build a relationship with. The internship did have its perks. It allowed him to work in a company environment and with people who were all quality.
He also discovered being an FAU football player has really helped prepare for his future. During football season, Stryffeler and his teammates sit through hours of meetings, so when it came to starting his professional life, extensive meetings were a breeze. Stryffeler also says that football has made him disciplined, and has developed his time management skills. Football has given him a natural drive for perfection which will be in his favor in the near future. To accomplish his task as a working student athlete, Stryffeler spent the summer juggling a demanding schedule which had to be managed. His day began at 6 a.m. and Stryffeler was in the office by 7 a.m. He left by 5 p.m., was in the gym lifting until 8 p.m. and then returned home to start it all over again. On off work days, he woke by 8 a.m., lift from 10 a.m.-noon, then consume a lunch large enough to help in his weight gain efforts for the 2012 season. He would study game film followed by field workouts and homework for his summer classes.
Stryffeler's hard work every day makes him look forward to the start of the 2012 season. He is looking forward to a fresh start with the new coaching staff, achieving both team and personal goals as well as playing in FAU's new stadium.