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Former Notre Dame Prep QB Cam Yowell done with transfer portal, taking talents to Poland

Former Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep quarterback Cameron Yowell, pictured in April 2020.
Former Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep quarterback Cameron Yowell, pictured in April 2020.

Quarterback Cam Yowell may have finally found a football home beyond high school. But it's taking him to Poland, playing professionally this spring for the Tychy Falcons.

Liga Futbolu Amerykanskiego (LFA), was founded in 2017 after a split with the Polish American Football League. Tychy is in LFA1, which is the top division with six teams.

Since playing his last high school football game at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep in 2016, Yowell has been searching for a place to stick, fulfilling his dreams.

He tried Occidental College, an NCAA Division III school. But three games into his 2017 season, the school canceled the football season due to diminishing bodies and a concern for safety. Even though he played, Yowell still had four years of eligibility.

He tried Phoenix College. But after playing for one year, there was no more football at PC, because the Maricopa County Community College District eliminated the sport due to financial issues.

He tried Auburn after then-offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham reached out to him to walk on after losing another quarterback. But Bo Nix was the quarterback, and Dillingham soon left to become Florida State's OC. He is now at Arizona State as the head coach. He was added in the fall 2019. But Auburn lost the entire 2020 spring to COVID. Head coach Gus Malzahn was then fired, and Yowell entered the transfer portal after Bryan Harsin arrived.

Yowell was going to go to Central Florida, before the Auburn QB coach took a high school job in Texas. Yowell graduted Summa Cum Laude from Auburn in August 2021.

But Yowell never got close to touching the field and didn't want to spend the rest of his college career as a cheerleader.

He tried the transfer portal. He reached out to schools. He was welcomed by some as a walk-on but no takers for a scholarship in the ever-crowded portal for quarterbacks. Then Idaho State coach Charlie Ragle (now an assistant at ASU) had Yowell come visit, but was told he wasn't goint to compete for the starting job. He didn't have the graduate level academic programs to make it worthwile.

He was among 16 quarterbacks invited to the XFL tryouts in October in San Diego. Although he performed well, teams wanted to see current game film. He'll finally get that in Poland.

In his biggest dreams, Yowell was hoping to be Stetson Bennett, coming to a major college as a walkon, before seeing the writing on the wall and transferring to  a junior college, before returning to same major college, and leading it to back-to-back national championships.

But while the 25-year-old Bennett lived out his dream at Georgia, Yowell, 23, who didn’t start until the fourth game of his lone season at Phoenix College and still had nearly 1,600 yards and 12 TDs and made first-team Academic National Junior College All-American, saw his dream ended in the transfer portal.

“The college football route is incredibly difficult in that you have to factor in the school, factor in the transfer portal, you have to factor in all these different things," he said. "But the other thing, too, is committing to tuition. If I'm not going on a scholarship, which I wasn’t at Auburn, and I wouldn’t be on scholarship if I had gone anywhere else... That was my main focus, to make sure I wasn't going to put myself in unnecessary debt, where I probably wouldn’t have played.

"I did have some teams reach out after I graduated from Auburn. But they saw me more as a graduate assistant. That’s not really what I wanted to do. I told my parents and people around me, if I’m going to keep playing football, I want to make sure that I’m actually playing. I’m not going to sit around and be the cheerleader on the sidelines. I feel like I still have a lot left to prove and I’m confident in my abilities."

So here he is, working a few jobs, coaching youth football teams, being a social influencer in fitness and nutrition, and getting ready to pack for Poland. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Yowell never left the quarterback group since high school that is led by personal QB coach Dan Manucci and features top student, San Francisco 49ers rookie Brock Purdy.

Purdy's own story this year fuels Yowell's drive even more. Yowell leaves on Jan. 19 for Poland to fulfill his football dream. He's got a checklist of things he needs to get done before departing:

-Get fitted for a helmet.

-Have a mouth guard that fits.

-Buy thermal gear.

-Bring his guitar.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Yowell said. "It's something that I was confident and comfortable in myself doing. I couldn't really pass it up. We had contract negotiations the last two or three months. We finally came to an agreement. I'm really excited about the opportunity."

Yowell found a site called, europlayers.com, which is a European recruiting site for former college football players. Some still in college are looking to move onto the pro level. Yowell made a profile, attaching film from high school and college, anything relevant.

"I had a couple of suitors reach out to see if I was interested," Yowell said. "A lot of them reached out not for this upcoming season but for last season while it was going on. There were injuries and they needed emergency players. They wanted to sign me for two or three months.

"I don't know if I was necessarily prepared for that at that time, so I didn't take some of those opportunities. Now the one that I have is probably the best fit for me. I've got a great relationship with the coaches. I'm looking forward to it."

Yowell will be in Poland until July. The season starts in April. The championship game would be the first week of July.

He said one American player can be on the field for a team at a time during games. One American on offense, and one American on defense.

Guys at this level are playing for the love of the game, although Yowell will have his housing, food and lodging covered while he's there and receive a paycheck.

"But it's no crazy (Patrick) Mahomes contract or anything like that," he said.

There is no player cap on Ukrainian players, because of the war right now. No cap for Polish players, either.

"The team I'm on is like the Polish first division," Yowell said. "They played in the overall Euro league before. I wanted to play at the highest possible level. That's what I decided to do."

He doesn't have to worry about learning to speak Polish because, he said he was told, most players under 30 speak fluent English.

"But I'll have some opportunity to learn their language and get used to their culture," he said. "I'm looking forward to that. I look forward to Poland with open arms."

He is excited to get back on the field. He is going to work closely with the offensive coordinator on the Falcons offesne. He will also serve as a coach with the youth program and work with Credit Suisse in Poland. There is a chance for endorsements.

"It's going to be a full experience for him overall," his father, Rob Yowell, said.

“It just seemed like the best opportunity that presented itself was going overseas to Europe," Cam said. "It’s even bettter. I’m getting paid to play."

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert atrichard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter@azc_obert

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Former NDP QB Cam Yowell, done with transfer portal, heading to Poland