Former UC Running Back Goes Pro in Germany


Nick McAdam, Assistant Sports Editor

The Erding Bulls of the German Football League recently agreed to terms to sign former Utica Pioneers running back Nicodemus Gambill to a professional contract. Details about the contract were undisclosed to the public.

The Rochester native played in 34 games throughout the duration of his career at Utica. Gambill received 120 attempts for 724 yards and six touchdowns. In his senior season with the Pioneers, Gambill was nearly rushing for seven yards per carry.

The dual-threat player was also featured on special teams for the Pioneers. In 31 attempts, Gambill logged over 800 yards and scored twice when returning kicks.

Gambill received many awards in both track and football. In his final season, Gambill represented UC on the Empire 8 Sportsman of the Year team. In track, Gambill was an eight-time national qualifier and a 12-time Empire 8 Conference Champion.

The recent news has pleased Gambill’s running backs coach, Matt Rogers, who said that going to Germany while playing the sport he loved was always a dream of his.

“I know this has been something Nicodemus has been pursuing for a while,” Rogers said. “His brother currently lives in Germany, and he spent some time in Europe last year, so I know he was itching for an opportunity to get back over there.”

Rogers both coached and played alongside Gambill all throughout the player’s career at UC. Rogers enjoyed his ability to take on multiple roles while being a two-sport athlete and pursuing his degree.

“Nicodemus was not only a good football player but a great teammate,” Rogers said. “He has great speed and can score a touchdown on any given play.”

Gambill’s ability as a kick returner also did not go unnoticed.

“In addition to his ability to run the ball, Nico was an All-Region kick returner even though most teams wouldn’t kick it to him,” Rogers said.

Rogers also spoke on Gambill’s age of playing professional football, which he found unique. According to ESPN, the average age of the college football player keeps getting younger. Peak years such as 2014 when the average age was around 23, is now reaching as low as 21.

Speaking from the perspective of the Pioneers’ organization and Gambill, Rogers found the recent news particularly rare, which added to the overall excitement.

“Football is so unique and even some of the most talented football players never play past the age of 22,” Rogers said. “This will be an excellent opportunity to continue to play football and represent our program.”

As for the Erding Bulls, they will begin yet another season in the Bayernliga in the competition’s South Division. The club has spent over 40 years in Erdinger, while finishing with a record of 4-6 last season.

For Gambill, he has followed his dreams, and according to Rogers, he has and will continue to make the Utica football program proud.

“He has earned this, and I have no doubt he will make our football program proud,” Rogers said.