2012 Recipient: Nate Boyer - Long Snapper, University of Texas
Nate Boyer, a deep snapper for the Texas Longhorns and the 2012 Big 12 Sportsman of the Year; was named the inaugural winner of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
A graduate of Valley Christian High School in Dublin, Calif., Boyer fulfilled a commitment he had made after 9/11 by joining the Army (and being selected as a Green Beret) in 2004. During his time serving in Afghanistan, he spent fall evenings watching the Longhorns late at night while on his tour of duty and those games gave him the inspiration to move to Austin after his tour and attend Texas to play football.
After learning that all the Longhorn deep snappers were graduating, Boyer grabbed a football and began learning about the special team’s position. After practicing in his spare time while on deployment, Boyer returned to Austin where the Longhorn coaches awarded him a scholarship where he became a deep snapper for placements.
Boyer, who played in UT's final 12 games in 2011 as the snapper on PAT/FGs and earned first-team All-Big 12 Academic honors, earned his degree in the spring of 2012 with a 3.85 grade point average in physical cultural and sports. He also was the recipient of the 2012 Disney Spirit Award, given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspirational figure.
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