Texas deep snapper Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret Staff Sergeant and Bronze Star recipient as part of a military special forces unit, has been selected to receive the inaugural Armed Forces Merit Award, officials announced today.
The honor, presented by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, recognizes an individual or group that has brought distinction and recognition to their military service and the sport of football.
Boyer will be presented with the award Dec. 7 at Texas’ annual football banquet and his accomplishments will be recognized during bowl week leading into the Dec. 29 contest at Amon G. Carter Stadium matching a Conference USA school against an opponent from the Mountain West.
Boyer, a native of Dublin, Calif., joined the U.S. Army in 2004 and chose to enroll in college after finishing his second tour of duty in the Middle East in 2009. After learning that Texas had no deep snappers on its 2012 roster, Boyer _ who did not play high school football _ began practicing the craft and was awarded a scholarship by coaches before the season.
“In 37 years of coaching, I am not sure I have ever come across a more amazing story like Nate,” Texas coach Mack Brown said in a statement. “Through his tenacity, he made the team and won the respect of our coaches and his teammates alike. It is obvious that he has taken the skills he learned as an outstanding young solider and used them to reflect an image of someone who is determined to succeed despite all challenges.”
_ Jimmy Burch