I’m sure many of you were watching the NFL Draft the other night. You cheered with joy when your team picked up a good player, felt pride when a player from your school was drafted by a good team, and made bold predictions of how each team would fair in the coming season. In all, it was an exciting night. The excitement didn’t end that night, though. In fact, what is arguably the coolest recent development in terms of NFL news happened after the draft had already ended.
Nate Boyer, a long snapper for the University of Texas was offered a contract with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. Interestingly, Boyer never played on an organized football team until he started playing for the Longhorns. Even more interesting, though, is that Boyer, soon to turn 34, is an Army Special Forces Soldier — a Green Beret.
Boyer has served in Special Forces units both on active duty and in the Army National Guard. He’s deployed multiple times to different war zones. In fact, while playing for UT, he deployed twice to Afghanistan during the summers, making it back home in time to play. This, as you’d expect, led to some difficulties.
“I played at 190 pounds mostly because in the summer time I was deployed, you know,” said Boyer, who now weighs 220 pounds. “So I had to stay at a fighting weight for special forces, it’s just a different job, they’re totally different worlds. So I had to be true to that. Putting weight was a challenge and it’s still a challenge.”
You’ve got to respect the man’s dedication. As soon as he gets back from Afghanistan, he starts getting ready for football. Damn.
As you’d imagine, Boyer is pretty pumped to be living his dream of playing professional football.
“Yeah, I’ve done things that are more difficult,” Boyer told NFL Network’s NFL Total Access on Saturday. “You can’t really compare the two in a lot of ways, but this is a huge challenge in itself. This is the best athletes in the world. Just to get an opportunity and be able to compete… And I’m playing for a great team in a great city. I couldn’t be anymore thrilled. Just for the chance that’s all you can ask for.”
I’m no Seahawks fan, but I think I just became a huge Nate Boyer fan..
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