A former Bellville Brahma recently earned his way into an NFL training camp, receiving a call from the Cleveland Browns organization.
Travis Vornkahl graduated from Bellville High School in 2013 after a trip to the state semifinals and earned a scholarship from West Texas A&M to play offensive tackle. After a redshirt freshman year, he worked his way to second-team All-Lone Star Conference honors after starting all 11 games of his senior campaign.
Although he was in conversations with a couple of NFL teams following his graduation last spring, there were no offers ready and waiting for him, so the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League called upon the Bellville native but soon enough had to turn him loose with the Browns once again showing interest.
So Vornkahl picked up and headed to Ohio where he accepted the invitation and has now played in two preseason games for the Browns. He joined a fellow former Brahma participating in 2019 minicamps in Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos) and his high school head coach knew it was only a matter of time.
“When he was being recruited (out of high school) he was 6-foot-5 but 215 pounds, and that’s soaking wet,” said Grady Rowe, who still coaches Bellville. “I couldn’t get guys to bite on him and I was telling guys, ‘hey, soon enough he’s not going to be able to fit through the door.’”
That day was right around the corner and Rowe couldn’t have been happier.
“He’s up to almost 6-foot-6, about 300 pounds and had a great career at West Texas A&M and man he’s just blossomed into a big old dude and when you have that kind of motor that he has, those things go together and it’s just a thing that happens that you end up in an NFL camp,” Rowe said. “Hopefully he can get to stay on that roster and move with the Browns but what an experience for him, really proud of that dude he’s worked really hard.”