Football fans love to watch their favorite teams play whether it’s on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. For Nate Ramirez, playing on the field is better than watching it.
Ramirez played for the El Dorado high school and is now an offensive guard and center for Fullerton College. He is excited to be back on the football field for practice and is prepared to play.
For many student-athletes, their journey begins at a young age either watching or playing the sport they love.
For Ramirez, he began to play later than most, only at school and for fun. “I first started playing football when I was a freshman in high school. I first wanted to play to create a bond with my father who is a huge fan of football at every level but, I ended up loving it more than anything,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez’s mindset when he just started playing football was just to play and he didn’t give much thought to playing in the future. “I would say at a young age, football was just a cool sport to watch and play around with friends and family at the park or for holidays like Thanksgiving but after my first year of playing physical football, I fell in love with it immediately,” he added.
Ramirez plays center and guard on the offensive line and he loves being able to take his anger out on the opposing team. “I chose this position because I loved the idea of protecting the quarterback and running back with the obvious benefit of getting to hit someone every single play,” Ramirez said.
To try and learn and improve everyday, Ramirez said he would watch his favorite NFL players and try to replicate some of their moves and use them in a game. “Some of my football influences are Aaron Donald for his insane work ethic and Taylor Lewan for his attitude as an offensive lineman,” he stated.
Ramirez shared that football at the high school and junior college levels are vastly different and each holds a different meaning behind it.
The biggest difference in Ramirez’s perspective is that in high school the majority of people who participate in sports are playing just to have fun. He said that many of the people who play high school sports don’t play at a higher level which is true.
Ramirez noticed and identified the difference very quickly. “In junior college, you’re surrounded by guys who are fighting to have college paid for and to better their lives. Some guys already have families that they have to take care of so for them it’s a do-or-die situation,” he said.
He is excited to finally practice after a long period of waiting after Fullerton College put all athletic activities on halt due to the pandemic.
Ramirez said he is looking forward to get back into his football gear and he misses the energy in the locker room prior to kickoff. “Before taking the field, there are so many emotions going through the whole team … Everyone is jumping around, screaming and going crazy to the music. The feeling is so hard to explain but, it feels so good,” Ramirez said.
Every athlete has a memorable moment that will always be something they will talk about forever. Ramirez’s moment thus far was in high school against Valencia High School. The matchup is called the “Bell Game” and it is a highly anticipated game on the schedule each year. He said winning that game was unforgettable because he got to share the experience with his closest friends.
He added that the Hornet’s football program has pushed him a lot and he doesn’t regret his decision to play at FC at all. “Fullerton College Football has taught me how to keep my head down and keep grinding through any adversity I am faced with,” Ramirez said.
The team has been allowed to condition on campus but they haven’t been able to have a formal practice yet due to local restrictions. Ramirez said he is ready whenever the moment comes and he is remaining positive through all of the unpredictability that lies ahead.