Last week, senior Nate Boyer was named as one of the two Big 12 sportspersons for the 2012-2013 academic year. Boyer, who is best known for his past service as a Green Beret, walked onto the football team as a deep snapper before earning a scholarship position and becoming the Longhorns' go-to guy on field goals and point-after attempts.
Kansas State's Whitney Pyle, a senior golfer, was named as the other conference Sportsperson of the Year. The award recognizes student-athletes who exhibit a high level of sportsmanship and community service. Boyer is the fourth Longhorn to receive the honor, following football's Ahmard Hall (2004-2005) and Sam Acho (2010-2011) and soccer's Kylie Doniak (2011-2012).
Four years ago, Boyer walked onto the team as a long snapper without ever having played football. While in high school, Boyer played both baseball and basketball because his school didn't field a football team. He originally started out with Texas as a defensive back on the scout team, but moved to deep snapper in an effort to make a larger contribution to the team.
Boyer enlisted in the army when he was 20 in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He then joined the Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, before serving on active duty for six years. During his time in the Middle East, Boyer earned a 4.0 GPA as a Longhorn, was named a 2012 First-Team Academic All-Big 12 and earned a spot on the Athletics Director's Honor Roll. He also earned the Lorene L. Rogers Scholar-Athlete Award for his high grade point average.
Earlier this year, Boyer received the 2012 Disney Spirit Award as college football's most inspirational figure, according to Disney Sports. He also received the Armed Forces Merit Award in November, presented by the Football Writers Association of America. He was given the Distinguished Young American Award by the National Football Foundation's Austin Chapter. Last October, UT president Williams Powers Jr. named him a member of the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Veterans Committee.