While Munich, Germany is nearly half a world away from Walton Stadium, former Mule Jaylen Zachery is duplicating what made him the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards at Central Missouri in the German Football League.
Zachery, a wide receiver for the Munich Cowboys, currently leads the GFL in receptions with 71 and receiving yards with 1,073.
“It’s a cool experience getting to travel and see Europe and different countries and Germany and it’s good to be playing ball again,” Zachary said.
Following the 2017 season where he was named to the All-MIAA Second-Team, Zachery attended the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rookie Camp but couldn’t latch on to a team in the NFL.
A connection with the Cowboys quarterback gave the Zachery a chance to get back on the field. Munich brought in former Northwest Missouri State signal caller Brady Bolles, the older brother of current Mules quarterback Brook Bolles, in November to helm its offense, leading to the jump from one Bolles quarterback to another.
“They both have their strengths and they both got their weakness,” Zachery said. “I feel like Brady has a better arm, but Brook is more of an athlete.”
Bolles isn’t the only Missouri representative on Munich roster. The Cowboys first year head coach Garren Holley hails from Independence and got his coaching career start at Missouri Valley.
“That is how we made a connection, through the bond that we have that we are both from Missouri,” Zachery said.
Teams in the GFL are limited in how many non-European Union players they can have on the roster with a bulk of the roster made up of homegrown players.
“It’d be comparable between Division II and Division III,” Zachery said. “A lot of the Americans come from Division I and Division II schools then you mix that together with the rest of the German guys. They’ve still got some guys out there who can really ball. It is good competition.”
Unlike in America, practices come only twice a week for the Cowboys, who sit at 2-5-1 and are sixth in the GFL South Division.
“I’m still getting in the same work in that I got at UCM, we just don’t do it as often,” Zachery said.
When he isn’t polishing off his receiving skills, Zachery said he enjoys the third largest city in Germany, especially the English Gardens.
“The atmosphere and culture is different,” Zachery said. “I like that it is so different.”
The former Mule still has hopes of getting a second opportunity to break into the NFL.
“My goal is lead the whole country in yards and receptions,” Zachery said. “I still have six games left to put up more numbers and do what I can do to get more film out there and eventually get to the NFL, but I am just taking it one day at a time to improve my game.”