Boyer in 2016
January 9, 1981 (age 40)|
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Nate Boyer (born January 9, 1981) is a former American football long snapper and United States Army Green Beret. After serving six years and multiple tours for the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Boyer played college football as a walk-on at the University of Texas despite never having played a down of organized football in his life. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
Boyer grew up in El Cerrito, California, and attended Amador Valley High School before transferring to Valley Christian School. His father is a veterinarian and his mother is an environmental engineer. After graduating high school, Boyer briefly worked as a deck hand on a sport fishing boat in San Diego. He also trained to become a firefighter before quitting. After high school graduation in 1999, Boyer moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. In 2004, he became a relief worker in Sudan, building camps for refugees of the War in Darfur. After a short tenure there, he enlisted in the United States Army, training at Fort Benning, and later was accepted into the Green Berets. After multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Boyer earned an honorable discharge after six years of service.
Despite never playing a down of organized football in his life, Boyer played for the University of Texas as a walk-on. He was a redshirt for his freshman year in 2010, while playing once in 2011 against Texas Tech as a member of the kickoff team. The following year, he became the team's starting long snapper, and played 38 consecutive games for the Longhorns. From 2012–2014, he was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference member, while also being named an Academic All-American in 2012. He was also named the 2012–13 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year, the third Longhorn to be honored, and was the inaugural winner of the Armed Forces Merit Award. From 2013–14, he was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. In 2015, he was named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which recognizes athletes with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 during their college careers.
Boyer graduated in May 2013 with a physical culture and sports degree.
After going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, Boyer signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks on May 2. He was involved in three plays in the Seahawks' first preseason game against the Denver Broncos, and recorded a tackle. He was released by the Seahawks on August 18 to make room for quarterback Jake Waters.
In popular culture
In 2017, Boyer appeared in the Madden NFL 18 video game's story mode Longshot, in which he portrayed Captain McCarthy, a soldier who assisted protagonist Devin Wade in rediscovering a love for football. Like Boyer, Devin was both a Texas Longhorn and member of the Army, though Boyer stated the connection was coincidental; an ESPN documentary about Boyer was also titled The Long Shot.
- Inman, Cam (April 17, 2015). "Green Beret Nate Boyer relishes his audition at 49ers pro day". http://blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers/2015/04/17/green-beret-nate-boyer-auditions-at-49ers-pro-day/. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Davis, Nate (May 2, 2015). "Former Green Beret and Texas long snapper Nate Boyer hopes to hook on in NFL". http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2015/05/01/nate-boyer-green-beret-texas-long-snapper/26694629/. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- King, Peter (April 6, 2015). "The NFL’s Most Improbable Prospect". Sports Illustrated. http://mmqb.si.com/2015/04/06/nate-boyer-long-snapper-green-beret-nfl-draft. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- William Wilkerson (September 13, 2012). "Life experiences fuel Nate Boyer". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/colleges/texas/football/story/_/id/8363805/nate-boyer-texas-longhorns-extensive-military-background. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- "Nate Boyer". Texas Longhorns. http://texassports.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=5114. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
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Pro Day results
- Smith, Michael David (May 2, 2015). "Seahawks sign 34-year-old Green Beret Nate Boyer". Profootballtalk.com. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/05/02/seahawks-sign-34-year-old-green-beret-nate-boyer/. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Broncos vs. Seahawks - Play-By-Play". ESPN. http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/playbyplay?gameId=400791762. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Henderson, Brady (August 18, 2015). "Seahawks release former Green Beret Nate Boyer to create room to add QB". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13462213/seattle-seahawks-cut-ex-green-beret-nate-boyer-add-qb-jake-waters. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- EA Tiburon (August 25, 2017). Madden NFL 18. EA Sports. "Julia: 8,000 miles from home, and it was this place that brought you back to football? / McCarthy: I'll field that one, if you don't mind. You see, I knew who Devin was. I don't know if the other guys knew, but when he got here, he was reclusive, always had his head down. Year or so in, I decided to give him a little push. So I hid these footballs around, here and there. Boy, did he ever take the bait."
- Lilley, Kevin (August 18, 2017). "Army plays supporting role in 'Madden 18' story mode ... and so does a former Green Beret". http://www.armytimes.com/off-duty/movies-video-games/2017/08/16/army-plays-supporting-role-in-madden-18-story-mode-and-so-does-a-former-green-beret/. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
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