While the NFL lockout was in full effect, players found various ways to keep busy. Some set out and landed legitimate jobs while others screwed around and just tried to occupy themselves. To our knowledge, no one spent their time in the same way that Nate Hughes spent his.
Hughes is currently fighting for a wide receiver spot with the Detroit Lions. If a future in football is not in store for Nate, he will be fighting illnesses for his patients. While attending Alcorn State for two years, Hughes commuted 35 miles a day from the school’s Natchez, Miss. campus to its main campus to earn a nursing degree.
“I think part of the reason why I’ve been able to succeed on the football field is because once I get to football practice, it’s my avenue to let all of that go,” Hughes told the Detroit Free Press. “Football is my happy place, so when I got to football practice it’s like, ‘OK, I’m free of all the work, I can just go have fun.’ It made me look at football totally different. I didn’t look at football as work, I looked at football as play. I looked at nursing as work because you’d have times you’d have to read 12, 13 chapters a night and have a test on it the next day.”
Hughes has dreamed of becoming an anesthesiologist since he was 6 and underwent umbilical surgery. During the lockout, he got a job as an on-call nurse at Noxubee General Hospital in Macon, Miss. where he gained some of experience he will need to one day attend anesthesiology school. He was able to administer IVs and monitor patients while working there.
As for football, Hughes caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in the Lions first preseason game and has returned some punts and kicks. He’s no sure thing to make the roster, but if he can’t play in the NFL it sounds like he has a great back-up plan already in place. That’s a lot more than most undrafted free agents can say.
H/T to @Sportsfeeder1 for the storyGoogle+