Utah's Nate Orchard a father figure on the field, father off the field
LOS ANGELES – As one of the main guys on a Utah defensive front that lost Trevor Reilly to the New York Jets, Nate Orchard will be called upon for many things in 2014. Sacks (taking down Marcus Mariota is on his list of things to do in 2014). Forced fumbles like this. Overall production.
But perhaps most of all, the Utes will look to Orchard for leadership. The defensive end is the only one listed on Utah’s defensive line 2-deep with three varsity letters.
Fortunately for Utah, leadership is one trait Orchard has in abundance. It sort of comes with the territory of being a father. Married with an 11-month-old daughter, Orchard sees a direct correlation between being a father at home and a leader on the field.
“Being a father definitely transitions into how guys look at me,” Orchard said Wednesday at the 2014 Pac-12 Football Media Day. “I definitely have to set a good example for them as I would for my daughter at home. Especially for the incoming freshmen who kind of look up to me, being that role model for them as they go on in their careers.”
Now, the artist formerly known as Nate Fakahafua has his eyes set on helping to lead his Utes back to a bowl game, something they’ve missed out on for the last two seasons.
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“It would mean everything,” Orchard said of returning to bowl season. “At the end of the season, all you want to do is go to a bowl game, something to reward yourself at the end, and not having that the last two seasons has been very frustrating.”