The National Football League needs Nate Boyer and Nate Boyer needs the National Football League.
Can somebody make this happen? Now, who in the heck is Nate Boyer? He is an undrafted football player out of the University of Texas that was invited by the Seattle Seahawks to rookie minicamp. And…..he is 34 years old..and he is a long snapper. Okay by know you are thinking, is this another Rudy story? Not quite. Nate Boyer is a 34 year old rookie long snapper from the University of Texas, a war veteran, member of the elite Special Forces and who has done three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2004, at the age of 23 he felt compelled to enlist in the Army. His training evolved into the absurdly challenging rigors of the elite Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. Out of 150 candidates, he was one of eleven that endured.
While serving overseas, he learned of a college football coach by the name of Mack Brown, head coach of the University of Texas. Brown would go on USO tours and was endearing to the soldiers. When Nate finished serving fulltime for his country, he wanted to play collegiate football. So in 2008, as a 29 year old freshman he tried out for Brown’s Texas Longhorns. Nate weighed in at 200 pounds and stood 5 foot 10. One more thing, Nate never played a down of organized competitive football in his life.
Nate started out as safety on the scout team but soon became unsatisfied with this role. He wanted to play, not later, now. He had to find a way to get on the playing field and he needed a niche. That niche turned out to be a long snapper. Texas was losing both their starter and back long snappers to graduation, so Nate worked his tail off that summer, on his own, to learn the craft. The rest is history.
Nate Boyer brings the most important skills to the athletic field. Sure he could use a bigger frame for the NFL but most of those guys can’t touch him when it comes to work ethic, dedication to craft, mental toughness and a “giving it everything you got attitude”.
Boyer was an accurate long snapper at Texas, never sending back a dud to the place holder and punter. It also must be said that while at Texas, he was an A student and still served his country during his summers as a National Guardsman. Day’s before his senior season, he was still serving overseas as he was in a firefight near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
After the year of bad press and scandals in the National Football league, Nate Boyer is an inspiring story that the league could use. I want to see him to make it onto a squad, I want him to play and I want him to be great. If he makes it, his experiences and character traits of discipline along with physical and mental toughness would be an invaluable asset to any team. Right now, the Seattle Seahawks have that opportunity to choose him, let’s hope he gets his chance to shine.