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Germain has grown on and off the football field

Bailey Germain (left) is shown making a tackle for the Itasca Community College football team last fall. Submitted photo

A couple major realizations have driven Bailey Germain to find his love for football.

Those realizations have helped Germain, a 2015 New Richmond High School graduate, to push himself to play college football. He has transferred to UW-River Falls and will be playing for the Falcons this fall.

That's a pretty big step for someone who sat out his high school junior season, electing to not play football. That decision led to the first of several major realizations for Germain. He said he realized how important football was to him. He came back out for the Tigers as a senior and improved by the week. He provided the Tigers with big plays from his defensive end position.

"My senior year (in football), I loved every minute of it," he said.

The next realization may have been even tougher for Germain. His senior season had him so excited about football that he wanted to play at the college level.

"I got denied from River Falls and Stout. That woke me up that I needed to work hard in the classroom," Germain said.

Seeking a place to play football, Germain attended Itasca Community College, playing their last fall. He said he went there viewed as a fill-in, a practice player by the coaches. Germain had other plans. He was moved to a new position, linebacker, and flourished. He earned honorable mention all-division honors.

"I think that's something I can brag about," he said.

The drive that showed on the football field also showed up in the classroom, with Germain amassing a 3.2 GPA.

A former NRHS teammate helped get Germain to River Falls. Austin Juhl was a freshman receiver with the Falcons last year. He put Germain's name on a recruiting sheet and the coaches quickly made contact. That led Germain to transfer to River Falls for the spring semester, so he's already been worked into the football plans and he's used to the academic demands.

With his understanding of the academic grind, he said he's hoping to help Juhl and Brandon Powers, a 2017 NRHS grad headed to the Falcons, to make a smoother transition to the demands of college.

Germain will be learning his third defensive position in joining the Falcons. After playing defensive end in high school and linebacker at Itasca, the Falcons plan to use Germain as a safety. The biggest change will be that Germain will be asked to do more pass coverage than he ever has before. He has three seasons of college eligibility remaining.

Exercise and sports science is what Germain will be majoring in at River Falls. He said he'd like to find some type of career in sports.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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