Siemieniec on NCAA’s California Golden Bears: “I hope to contribute any way I can” (VIDEO)

For Gabriel Siemieniec, a recruitment process that began back in Feburary with one NCAA school finally ended last Friday with a commitment.

The 6’1, 192 pound kicker from Caledon East, Ontario announced that he accepted a Preffered Walk-On Offer from NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team University of California Golden Bears.  Siemieniec will join the team for the 2016 NCAA season,

While the football program reached out to the Ontario kicker, it wasn’t until earlier this month that things moved full stream ahead.

“It started back in February when Coach [Mark] Tommerdahl emailed me asking if we could speak on the phone,” recalled Siemieniec. “We talked for sometime but things started to get serious on May 1st. I sent him some new film and after analyzing it, he decided to come out to Guelph Gryphons Alumni Stadium and watch me kick on May 19th.”

That day, the kicking session lasted 45 minutes to an hour.  Due to NCAA regulations, Siemieniec was not allowed to have direct contact with Tommerdahl. However, he let his performance on the field do the talking as he completed approximately 15 kickoffs, split 7-8 going into each direction, booted eight field goals (four in each direction) and four punts.

Once the session concluded, clearly the Ontario kicker made quite an impression.  Tommerdahl, the Golden Bears Special Teams Coach, offered Siemieniec the offer and it was accepted on May 27th. However, the news was not officially made public until Monday evening.

Overall, there were a couple of specific reasons why Siemieniec committed to the NCAA Division 1 team.

“There was no way I was going to miss up on the opportunity to not only study at the University of California – Berkeley, but play on the team as well,” explained the kicker, who also received preferred walk-on offers from Eastern Michigan Eagles, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Southern Florida Bulls as well as considering Division 2 team, Simon Fraser Clan. “The high level of academics and football at Cal were the biggest factors, not much could beat that!”

Gabriel Siemieniec 1

Throughout his career, Siemieniec has players for multiple teams including Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association’s (ROPSSAA) Robert F Hall Wolfpack (2013-2015), Orangeville Outlaws (2013), and Ontario Football Conference’s (OFC) Guelph Jr. Gryphons (junior varsity 2014, varsity 2015-2016).

Additionally, he helped Team Ontario win a gold medal at the 2014 Football Canada Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as well as a silver medal at last year’s tournament in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Siemieniec has represented his province at the International Bowl in Arlington, Texas for two consecutive years (2015, 2016).

While it has been a roller-coaster of emotions over the past several months, Siemieniec is now thrilled about his decision.

“There is a huge sense of relief,” commented the Ontario kicker.  “I was unsure for a long period of time where i will be going but now that I decided, I couldn’t be more happier with my decision.”

While it might be getting close to summer, there is no rest for Siemieniec as he will continue to condition and prepare for the next phase of his gridrion career at the NCAA level. That entails “perfecting his craft” but also travelling down to Florida in July to participate in a two week camp before officially heading to California to join the Golden Bears.

Ultimately, the Ontario kicker is focused on making his main goal a reality with his new gridiron team, the Golden Bears.

“I hope to contribute any way I can, mainly I will be focusing on Kickoff but I will also be competing at the Field Goal position.

Upon the realization that he has achieved his ultimate gridiron goal, it is not lost on Siemieniec that several individuals played a significant role in his success on and off the field.

“I would like to thank my parents, driving me to camps all across the States, visiting schools and supporting me 100 percent, helping me in any way they can for me to be successful,” expressed Siemieniec.  “Also, I would like to thank all my coaches from Guelph Gryphons, Jeremy MacLeod, Josh Prior, Matthew Nesbitt, Team Ontario, Coach Mills, Billy Brown, Orangeville and High School, Jason Sweeney for helping me get to where I am today.”

“Also all my kicking coaches Jamie Kohl, Brandon Kornblue, and Chris Sailer for teaching me the fundamentals of kicking and helping me along the way with recruiting and all. Also my friends, especially Jordan Baggio and Sean Coomey who without them I would not be playing football in the first place. They are the ones who convinced me to join the football team.”




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