When I walked off the field from enduring a devastating lost against the five-time national champion Bison in the 2015 playoffs, I did not know what to expect in my near future. I had no idea if I had taken my last snap or not, but I knew I still had something to offer to this game.
I’m going to use the idea of my sports agent Andrew Schmidt. Andrew became my agent after the conclusion of my senior football season. He used his first blog post on Egriz as an introduction and I will do the same.
My name is Nate Harris. I was born in Chino Hills, California, a suburban town about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Growing up, sports were at the pinnacle of our family of five. I had little time for television, hobbies, or even chores around the house on the weekends. My childhood was consumed of nothing but sports. Football, Baseball, and Basketball found themselves at the forefront of the list of sports I engaged in. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I decided to dedicate my focus to one sport: football.
When I was in eighth grade I had the privilege of going to the University of Minnesota with my older brother on his official visit. My decision was made after that trip. I knew that I wanted to play collegiate football and I would do everything in my power to get there. I looked up to my brother, but instead of trying to be like him, I wanted to be better than him. I put in countless hours of hard work. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school and I was putting in more hours than any young kid leaving eighth grade should have been. I continued to make sacrifices and I continued working hard throughout the duration of my high school career. Finally, all of the hard work paid off when I received my first scholarship to the University of Montana.
I arrived to Montana in August 2011. I had no clue what to expect. I had envisioned horseback riding, cowboy hats, and a plethora of cattle running freely. It was a complete surprised, as I became familiar with the community, that this was not the case. Missoula actually reminded me of the city I grew up in. None of this mattered to me though. The only thing on my mind was to become the best football player that I could be. As the season began, I soon realized the same work I was committed to in high school would need to be doubled at this level. My first year at Montana I redshirted and had the opportunity to learn from Trumaine Johnson, the current Los Angeles Rams franchise tag player. During my redshirt year I had a lot of fun, but I took the game seriously and used that year as an opportunity to grow as a football player. I wanted to be the hardest working player at the school and even across the country. In 2012 I made my debut. I was named the starting cornerback for the Griz. From then on, I started the rest of my career. I received accolades; we won games, played in big games and played in the playoffs every year except one. My career at U of M was impeccable and I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Now I’m here, writing on Egriz to all of you. You’re probably asking what this is all about. As I referred to earlier, my goal was to play in the NFL and live happily ever after. This is a goal a majority of football players across the world share, but only a few make it. After my last season, I moved back home to train at Winner Circle Athletics for the preparation of Montana’s annual Pro Day. I perform well at my Pro Day and I was satisfied when I left the field, but when the NFL draft rolled around I wasn’t too satisfied. The only person that was making my phone ring was my agent, Andrew, telling me to remain patient. As time passed, the less patient I became. It has been days, weeks, and now months and until I realized that my last football game just might have been in December, against the Bison.
Now what? What’s next? This is the question of any athlete leaving the sport they love. As for me, I had no other hobbies growing up. Football is my life. Now, as I enter the workforce, I believe this is exactly where I belong. I have dreams of becoming a college coach some day. I also have dreams of become a sports journalist or even a sports broadcaster. I think starting to blog on Egriz and covering the team I love most is the perfect step while gaining experience in order to climb the ladder in a new career.
I am new to this so bear with me. I will be blogging about the Grizzlies and much of the Big Sky Conference. Even though, at times, Egriz gets a bad wrap, I am here to only report and speak positivity about he team, coaches, and players.
Remember, once a Griz always a Griz!
Solid young man. Little doubt that his success on the field will translate to success off the field. Thanks for the memories, Nate; the ones you’ve already created and the ones to come. Go Griz!
Best wishes to you Nate…We loved watching you play for the Griz:)))