Former Green Beret “pumped up” after signing with Seahawks
By CBS News on May 4, 2015
Long-snapper Nate Boyer’s road to the NFL is anything but conventional. The Texas Longhorn and former Green Beret wasn’t picked by any of the 32 teams at last weekend’s draft in Chicago, but that didn’t stop the Seattle Seahawks from taking a chance, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.
Boyer never played a snap of organized football in his life — his high school didn’t even have a team.
He joined a different kind of team after high school: the United States Army Special Forces.
“When we’re deployed, you develop these bonds with Americans, Afghans and Iraqis, whoever you’re working with and you create this brotherhood,” Boyer said. “You live with these guys and you fight with them… and then you walk into a football locker room and it’s a different deal but it’s still that brotherhood.”
That locker room was at the University of Texas, which boasts one of the best football programs in the country. After Boyer served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded a bronze star for his service, he traded his green beret for some longhorns as a walk-on player.
“I decided not only was I going to go back to school, but I wanted to do something else I had never done before which was play football,” Boyer said. “I went back to school and walked on and just made the team.”
He said he didn’t even know at the time that long snapper was a position.
“I’d literally would watch YouTube videos and Google, ‘how to snap a football’ and all that. And that was my game tape and I’d go out and try to emulate that,” Boyer said.
Those YouTube videos paid off. Boyer developed into a legitimate college player and the Seattle Seahawks made the call after the NFL draft.
“The phone rang as soon as that last pick was in, I picked it up and it was Coach Carroll,” Boyer said. “I was pretty pumped up.”
“We cherish competitors, we cherish tough guys, we cherish guys that can overcome odds, and he’s done all of that,” Carroll said at a press conference.
The odds are stacked against Boyer to make the Seahawks’ active roster, and at 34, he’s eight years older than the average NFL player.
“I’m a little bit older…and a little bit smaller but so what? They are going to have to drag me out of there kicking and screaming,” Boyer said.
This Army veteran says his time in the military helped his transition from battle field to football field.
“On a gridiron, you’re standing side-by-side with the men that you’re fighting against,” Boyer said.
“I can’t wait to get to Seattle and start to build those relationships and fight for the guy next to you on the football field instead of in a war zone,” Boyer added. “It’s a great feeling and this is an incredible opportunity.”
The Seahawks already have an experienced long snapper, six-year veteran Clint Gresham. Upon hearing the news, Gresham tweeted at Boyer: “Welcome to the squad.”