POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Former Marist football player Ryan Cronan, a 2012 graduate, has begun his professional playing career with the Saarland Hurricanes of the German Football League.

Cronan arrived in Germany last Friday, and his first game took place the following day, as he recorded 15 tackles and a fumble recovery against the Franken Knights. Ten of his tackles were solo stops.

Saarland is currently 2-3-1 on the season. The team plays a 14-game regular season, and the league's playoffs culminate with the German Bowl in October.

"It has definitely been a great experience so far and an opportunity I would have hated to have passed up," Cronan said. "Based on the first game I played last Saturday the competition is pretty good and there are a surprisingly decent amount of American import players on each team. The GFL is definitely growing and football here does have the potential to become big, because the country seems to be really putting in the effort."

Cronan was a First Team All-Pioneer Football League (PFL) selection last year, when he started all 11 games at outside linebacker and had a team-high 77 total tackles. He also had six tackles for losses, two sacks and two pass break-ups. In his Marist career, Cronan was also a two-time PFL Academic Honor Roll selection.

Cronan joins a growing number of Red Foxes who have gone on to play professional football overseas, a list which also includes Chris Debowski (Class of 2010), Jake Dembow (Class of 2009), Jack Scanlon (Class of 2009), and Jason Tillery (Class of 2009).

The Marist football team begins its 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Bryant. The Red Foxes open their five-game home schedule against Bucknell on Saturday, Sept. 8.