Glenwood Springs High School graduate ready to walk the walk at CSU |

Glenwood Springs High School graduate ready to walk the walk at CSU

Nick EllenburgSpecial to the Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – As Glenwood Springs High School graduate Nate Forristall wakes up for his regular morning run, in his mind he’s already part of the football team. Although his day will include hours of cardiovascular and weight training – things not usually associated with a college student’s summer break – it’s all in a day’s work for the young athlete.”I like working out,” said Forristall. “It’s a job and people don’t realize how demanding it is, but I like it.”This summer, the 19-year old has been preparing himself to walk on to the Colorado State University football team as an offensive lineman, fully immersing himself in the lifestyle of a top-tier athlete. Whether it’s distance running, 100-yard sprints, hitting the gym or spending hours studying play after play, he does it with vigor and determination. “Then I have to go to my real job,” he added. Forristall manages to fit in part-time ranch work for an elderly couple in the midst of his summer training schedule.Forristall is by no means clueless when it comes to physical conditioning. Receiving acclaim as a first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state football player as a senior at GSHS in 2006-07, he lettered three years in football, three in basketball, two in baseball and was a two-time captain of the football team.Last year, Forristall redshirted as a true freshman in his first season of college eligibility. To stay in shape and get a taste of what the real thing would be like, he participated in the team’s spring workouts at 6 a.m. six days a week.”We did real heavy stuff this spring, just trying to bulk up. So many kids would puke,” he said, describing the experience as awful.Going into this season, he knows what’s going to be expected of him, and these thoughts dominate his mind.”During the season I spend five hours a day on football,” he said, reiterating his idea of football as a way of life. “It’s not like you just go to practice and go home.”As the season looms closer on the horizon, he chooses to look forward, preferring to put his past experience to work for the present and future.”I’ve seen big gains,” he said in a deceptively diminutive statement. Since last fall, Forristall has added 30 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-4 frame, boosting his weight from 250 to 280 in less than a year.”I put it on pretty healthy,” he assured. “I don’t have a gut like some of the bigger players.”But the physical aspect of the sport is just one part. “Mentally, I’ve gotten a lot stronger, too,” he said. “They force you through a lot of failure, and it’s something you learn to take.”Unlike many of his potential teammates, Forristall doesn’t have a football scholarship, and time, for him, is a valuable asset. Taking on dual responsibilities – both his obligation to the team and to his academics – he isn’t cheating himself out of a good education. As a business administration major, he is looking past the next four years of eligibility, ensuring he has a bright future.”My mom is a CPA, so my concentration will probably be in accounting,” he said. “I want to go to a big city on the East Coast and work for a big firm.” He was quick to add that a professional football career is his ultimate dream. “If the NFL opened up a door, I’d definitely jump at that.”Besides this familial sharing of interest, there are other similarities. His mother, Tracy, is a Colorado State graduate while his uncle, Frank Lousberg, played football at Colorado School of Mines. Last summer, Nate took part in several football camps during which he played with a number of nationally recognized athletes. The strength and ability he demonstrated proved, if only to himself, that he is well on his way to joining their ranks. “I know I can compete at their level.”

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