- David Ubben, College Football
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Texas junior long snapper Nate Boyer has been honored as the Big 12's Sportsperson of the Year.
Boyer, who was placed on scholarship last August as a sophomore, was a member of the Green Berets Special Forces before coming to Texas to play football. He also won the Disney Spirit award last year as college football's most inspirational story.
The 31-year-old earned a Bronze Star for his duty, which began as a response to the Sept. 11 attacks and included work in the Darfur region of the Sudan, as well as providing assistance to autistic children.
He began another tour of duty in May. Coach Mack Brown called it the "most unique story" he'd ever seen. Perhaps most unique: Boyer didn't even play high school football because his school didn't field a team.
He's found a niche on the Longhorns' team, and the Big 12 honored him with more hardware on Monday. Throughout the award season, though, he's only earned more respect. He brought two Wounded Warriors with him to the College Football Awards in Orlando and has earned a status much more prominent than just the guy who charges the field at Texas games as the first player out of the tunnel with the American flag in his hand.
"Nate sets a tremendous example for our guys and is a daily reminder of how our military personnel give so much to protect and provide us freedom," Brown said in a release. "He is a great example for student-athletes across the country and someone who is worthy of any award or recognition that comes his way."
I'll second that sentiment from Brown. See more on Boyer's incredible story here.
11hMax Olson and Brian Bennett