Thursday, June 19, 2014
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Nate Boyer
By Max Olson
Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series will take a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
Recruitment rewind: If you're unfamiliar with his incredible story, read this piece from Grantland. Boyer walked on to the Texas football team at the age of 29, after spending time as an actor, teacher and fishing boat worker and then earning a Bronze Star as a member of the Green Beret Special Forces. The 5-foot-11, 190 pound defensive back had never played football when he tried out for and made the team.
Career so far: Boyer redshirted in 2010, appeared in one game in 2011 and then took over the starting deep-snapping duties in 2012 and 2013. He came to Texas thanks to the G.I. Bill, which covered his school costs, though Mack Brown elected to put Boyer on scholarship before the 2012 season. Last season, Boyer was responsible for snapping on field goals, PATs and punts. He received the Disney Spirit Award in 2012, the National Football Foundation Legacy Award last year and was a first-team Academic All-American as well.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Another year of doing your job so well that nobody notices. That's the life of a snapper, though they don't make many like Boyer. You can expect the 33-year-old to be a perfect student in the classroom again and an important voice in the locker room. He has the utmost respect of his teammates, and not just because he's a decade older than them.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: No worst-case here. Texas has one other designated long snapper on the roster, junior Kyle Ashby, but it seems unlikely he'll take over Boyer's duties this fall unless the senior is ineffective in his role.
Future expectations: Boyer has been all over the world in his life and has achieved so much since arriving in Austin as a veteran with no football experience. When his playing days are over , you know Boyer will find another profession that gives him a chance to make the world a better place. For him, football was always just something fun to do in between.