Wanting to be an NFL player is a tough journey in itself. The rigorous and countless training sessions, the mental hurdles and picking the right crowd to be around are just a few challenges that must be faced. However, Nate Harris’s journey is filled with highs and lows. He is showing the world about defining the odds and achieving his dreams of being an NFL player while overcoming life’s hardships.
Harris, a native of Akron, OH, is showing the world how you must persevere through the difficulties of life in order to make your dreams come true. In spite of all the pain, sacrifice and challenges, it’s all about how you change during these moments.
Due to his faith, Harris made the tough decisions that have shaped him into the man he is today.
Harris was a high school student that was always focused on his passion of football. However, Harris faced many difficulties. He was a late bloomer when it came to the classroom and started flashing potential late in his junior year. Despite not making a 2.5 or receiving an 18 or higher on the ACT, Harris was given many opportunities to attend junior and community colleges.
Harris wanted to be an athlete-student, not a student-athlete, hence the reason for why he struggled to succeed in the classroom and in situations where his pride was challenged.
“In order to achieve anything you want to achieve in life you have to be a student.” Harris said.
One final chance?
“The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains,” Harris said about his faith in God when going through all the challenges he’s faced in his life. “In order to achieve anything you want to achieve in life you have to be a student.”
After countless opportunities and things just not going his way, Harris found himself with one last opportunity. In June 2016, Harris reported to Laney Community college in Oakland, CA. The college didn’t have any on-campus housing. Instead of running back to the streets, Harris mustered the courage to chase his dream. For two weeks, he stayed with the equipment manager, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Harris became homeless.
A teammate of Harris’s allowed him to rest on the floor in the middle of the hallway. However, Harris’s teammate didn’t mention this to his father and threw Harris’s belongings out which included his birth certificate and other important items.
With nowhere to turn to that night, Harris found himself staying in the school’s athletic fieldhouse. The next day after receiving financial assistance from his father, he would get some toiletries and handle business. On an October night, Harris left his laptop light on and one of the custodians found him and unfortunately had to report him to his coach. Harris, however, would climb through the window of the weight room to get back into the facility.
The Turning Point:
Harris confided in another teammate for help. From late October until the start of the year he would catch a break. He would stay with his teammate’s family where he was treated with love from the family. He even got Christmas gifts for the holidays and made him feel like he was a part of the family.
Heading into Spring 2017 a bunch of different schools began looking at Harris. After much debate and little impatience, Harris decided to go back home and take care of his family. In August 2017, he married his wife and started being a working man. Harris worked blue collar jobs while staying connected with his football circles for opportunities.
Late in the Fall of 2017, he had learned about the NFL Spring League and once he got off the phone with a sports agent he quit his job. Harris sacrificed the rent money for the upfront cost of the Spring League.
After participating in the NFL Spring League Harris now awaits his next opportunity.
Harris is a shining example of never quitting on your dreams no matter what life throws at you.
“It’s not what you go through, it’s what you going to do.” – Nate Harris
Follow Nate on Instagram @natenoflyzone_harris26