June 5, 2012

Army commit and safety, Nate Guidry says he's ready

Those early wake-up alarms for Beast Barracks followed by the school year at the USMAPS won't come as early for Nate Guidry as it will others.

Guidry, a member of Army's football Class of 2012 recruited as a safety, has always been an early riser. But even though he has graduated from Fort Worth (Texas) Arlington Heights and has a few weeks of leisurely civilian life remaining before reporting, he's moved his alarm clock up to 5:30 am from the usual 6 am setting on the advice of a West Point friend.

He rises and runs for 30 minutes around the neighborhood and then performs a routine of exercises from jumping jacks to chin-ups before starting his day.

"Getting up 30 minutes earlier isn't that big of a deal," Guidry said. "What I had to adapt to was getting up and running in the dark. I'm used to working out after school."

Guidry said he's following advice from Paul Chan, a friend of a friend who just finished his plebe year at West Point.

"He said you have to train yourself to be ready before you get there so you have the desire and dignity to do this," Guidry said.

Guidry is one who listens for advice and applies it. He says he's fortunate to have had influential coaches in his middle school years and his freshman year that set him on the right path early in high school.

"The coaches I grew up have always been role models to me," Guidry said. "They always told me character is first and then academics and football. If you don't have character, the other two don't mean anything."

He especially praises Steve Hale, his football coach his freshman year.

"He was an amazing coach," Guidry said. "He told us to do the right thing and don't just follow other people. He taught me to get the job done."
 
But the wake-up calls at 5:30 isn't all that Guidry is doing to get a head start on conditioning himself for his college football career.

He sets up cones in his back yard and runs agility drills to help him adapt from playing outside linebacker in high school to his projected free safety position for the Black Knights. He also puts a ladder down on the ground and runs through it to simulate the traditional football drill of running through tires or ropes to keep your knees up.

"Free safety will be a new position for me," Guidry said. "There will be more one-on-one for me. I'm working on turning and opening my hips and flexibility. It helps a lot."

The move to free safety was part of the recruiting pitch from Army. Guidry was a dominant force as an outside linebacker in high school, but he thinks physically he's better suited to the secondary at the college level.

Guidry, who played last fall as a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, said he now weighs 191 and feels he confident he can play at 200 pounds his first year. He hopes to get up to 220 by the end of his career, which would give the Black Knights and NFL-sized safety, which is cast in the mold of former Army safety and current Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Caleb Campbell.

"I've never really been on a diet of protein shakes," Guidry said. "Once I get there and get in a weight program, I'll put on weight like nothing."

He already brings a unique dimension to the recruiting class as a player who turned down at least one BCS school. Guidry originally gave a verbal commitment to Kansas State of the Big 12 before de-committing and signing with Army. He also had an offer from Colorado State.

"What made me change my mind is the communication I had with the coaches at West Point was amazing," Guidry said. "The academics are better. The campus is nice and I like that that the school is smaller.

"I didn't want to be just another number at Kansas State. I wanted to go to West Point be known as Nate Guidry. Those are things that made me change my route. I feel comfortable with my choice. I wouldn't have chosen West Point if I wasn't comfortable."


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