BY Art Thiel 09:07PM 05/02/2015

Seahawks sign ex-Green Beret, 34, as snapper

Admitting “sometimes you fall in love with guys,” GM John Schneider signed an ex-Green Beret who had three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an undrafted free agent.

Nate Boyer is a former Green Beret who became the starting long snapper at Texas at age 32. / USA Today

As a former Green Beret, Nate Boyer knows a little bit about special teams, so the Seahawks signed him up Saturday, despite being 34. He’s from the University of Texas and a long snapper, with even longer odds.

Boyer (5-11,220), headed a list of undrafted free agents signed after the three days of the NFL draft ended Saturday. A veteran of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, he walked on to the Longhorns team at 29 despite never playing a down and became a starter.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider admits he was smitten with the story.

“You fall in love with guys,” he said, “giving people opportunities for different reasons all the way through the draft.  Through a good friend of mine, I’ve become very aware of who this guy is at his core, everything that he represents, and what he’s done every year at Texas.

“He’s just a phenomenal person. He’s a competitor, and he’s tough. He represents a lot of really, really cool things that quite frankly I think would be really good for a lot of us to be around.  And, he runs down and covers kicks, and he’s really made himself into a legitimate snapper at Texas.”

Even though the Seahawks re-signed their longtime long snapper, Clint Gresham, coach Pete Carroll is eager to see Boyer on the practice field.

“He’s going to be able to hit somebody,” Carroll said. It’s a great opportunity for us to have a guy come to the program with his background.  We cherish competitors, we cherish tough guys, we cherish guys that can overcome odds.

“We’ll see what happens.  Gresh better get ready.”

Boyer finished high school but drifted through several jobs before enlisting.

“I didn’t want to regret never playing, and I’d never had the opportunity,” Boyer told USA TODAY Sports. “It was always my favorite sport to watch.”

The Seahawks also signed 11 other free agents, a talent pool from which the Seahawks have often found roster-worthy talent:

T Jesse Davis, Idaho; WR Austin Hill, Arizona; SS Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State; SS Ronald Martin, LSU; LB Quayshawn Nealy, Georgia Tech; RB Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan; CB Trovon Reed, Auburn; LB Alex Singleton, Montana State; DE Tory Slater,     West Georgia; RB Rod Smith,Ohio State; FS Triston Wade, Texas-San Antonio.

Pac-12 finishes third

Reader and Seattle draft observer Jim Harvey’s tracking of NFL draft shows the SEC had 55 players selected, most of any conference. The rest: ACC 46, Pac-12 39, Big 10 35, Big 12 29.

Among the non-power conferences, the Mountain West led with 10. Another 41 players were selected among 18 other conferences.

By position, wide receivers led with 34 selections, including six in the first round, a draft high, followed by 30 cornerbacks.

After Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were taken with the first two picks, no quarterbacks were taken until the third round (Sean Mannion, Oregon State, 89th overall) and only seven overall.

 


YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    Cannot believe the Hawks did not sign Kasen Williams as a UFA! Wow, The Hawks blew this one. If he wasn’t playing for such a dink QB – Miles – his senior year, he would have been a solid draft choice. What a waste.

    • RadioGuy

      There may be more than one team interested in Williams and he’s reviewing his options. Who knows?
      As for Nate Boyer, it’s a feelgood story that might take a little attention from the Hawks’ top draft pick being one more character-doesn’t-matter player to add to the roster.

      • art thiel

        See above. Boyer’s candidacy is more about optics than bumping Gresham.

    • art thiel

      Cincy signed him, so he’ll get a shot to prove the injury wasn’t a career killer. Seahawks have drafted 3 WRs past two years.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Now that is a story. He is a good football player although at 34 how many seasons can you project him?Nonetheless,he will provide the Hawks with some outstanding pub and if he is off the charts maybe they keep him as a special teams stand out and back up to Gresham.
    Just read Kipers draft grades on ESPN and it was a little disconcerting…. he gave Seattle the best grade of A-.He contended Jimmy Graham as the 31st pick was outstanding and he glowed about the Tyler Lockett snag too. Kiper in our camp can only mean evil voo doo.Let us hope this is just an aberration(no Kiper curse) and the Hawks enjoy another shrewd draft with players who fit the relentless motor put into an ideal situation/program for their talent to excel kind of results.With the 4th toughest schedule in the league we will need some of these guys to come through in a big way. Go Hawks!

    • art thiel

      Boyer is a good story and a nice gesture, but he’s highly unlikely to make the roster.

      I’m not sure anyone is listening to Kiper.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Yes, even Boyer knows that I am sure. If Kiper has a wife he probably makes her listen.