Nathan Hamby: Talented and tough

Nathan Hamby with NFA Founder/President Darin Slack at the Duel.

Nathan Hamby: Talented and tough

Nathan Hamby never gives up.
As a freshman at Mullen High School in Denver, he was working out before the season started and broke two bones in his back. He didn’t miss a game.
“It was before practice started,” Hamby said. “I was lifting and it was one of those tough and nasty injuries. I was able to come back for the first game because it wasn’t the worst break. It was an area around the spinal cord, but it was one of those injuries where the bones never healed.”
A tough customer, Hamby played in his first freshman game and wound up sustaining a concussion. “I was out two weeks, but I only missed one game,” he said.
Now a junior at Highlands Ranch High School, located 30 minutes south of Denver, Hamby still wears a back brace when he lifts weights and steps on the football field. And he still plays the game with all-out energy.
“I think injuries are kind of an extension of the sport,” he said. “I try to push through the best I can.”

QB skills

Hamby’s goal is to push his way into the starting varsity quarterback job with Highlands Ranch this season. His persistence – and skill – figure to land him under center sooner than later.
“I’ve been playing quarterback since sixth grade,” said the 6-foot-0, 175-pounder. “I like stepping up and leading the team, through the good times and the tough times. I like meeting with the coaches and discussing what the game-plan is and being a part of that. And I really like having control of the game in close situations.”
A standout athlete, Hamby is versatile enough to play multiple positions and he has already established himself as a talented safety. But QB is his preferred spot, and his 3.9 GPA tells you Hamby is intelligent enough to understand and execute even the most complicated offense.

Duel success

As far as having the athletic skills to handle quarterback, Hamby showed what he can do at the Duel in July. In his first visit to NFA’s annual national showcase in Massillon, Ohio, he finished third in the Class of 2016 division.
“I went in there not really sure what the competition was going to be like,” Hamby said. “I just wanted to go out there and do my best and finish as high as I could. After the first day, I thought I was doing pretty bad and was kind of out of it.
But it really showed me I’m doing a lot better, especially compared to people from around the country. I think it gives me an edge in confidence.”
Hamby went to his first NFA camp in March before heading to the Duel. “They were really good,” Hamby said. “They helped me get more power into my throw, which I was missing out on. And they helped me tune up some of my footwork issues.”
With help from NFA and his own determination, Hamby is on a good track to reach his ultimate goal – playing football in college. “I just try any way I can to outperform the competiton and be the best I can be on the field,” he said.

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University