July 23, 2009

Nathan Ayers is ready to hit

Imagine having to run against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, every game. Sounds like fun, right? According to Dunbar all-purpose back and outside linebacker Nathan Ayers it sounds like a challenge. Ayers is intent on asking that very question to all the teams that he and his team will be playing this upcoming season.

"The last thing that I want to do is really hurt someone, that isn't my intent. With that being said, I want to hit the ball carrier so hard on every attempt that comes my way that they think of me every time they run in my direction. That is what I try to do every down."

At 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, Ayers is commanding attention from some of the nations up and coming college football programs. So far Maryland, West Virginia, and Central Michigan are interested in his services and UNLV and Toledo have offered scholarships.

"Most of the schools that I have talked with tend to see me playing outside linebacker. Toledo has interest in me as a safety. Personally, I don't care what the position is that I play, as long as I can continue to play," said Ayers. "Right now, I don't really have any favorites as far as which college I would like to go to. My only concerns are being able to play a lot and that I will be able to get a good education. Obviously, I would like to be close to my family, but only if it is the right situation for me."

Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, Ayers learned how to play football from his father at a young age.

"I learned all the basics from my dad when I was about seven years old. My dad used to play football, and would run and lift with me, basically get me into playing shape. It's a good bond that we have always been able to share between one another."

Though Nathan and his father are very close, as well as the rest of the Ayers family, there is always one day of the week of all-out-warfare within the Ayers household.

Sundays are usually a day of trash talk between me and my dad. My dad is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I, on the other hand am a diehard Baltimore Ravens fan. Most of the NFL season consists of us arguing about which team is doing better and who is going to beat who. On the Sundays that they actually play each other…let's just say it can get ugly."

Being a fan of the Ravens, Ayers has grown accustomed to seeing dominant defenses that play every down like it's their last and a running game that is known for being physical and punishing defenses. Both of which are qualities that Ayers likes to incorporate in the way he plays the game.

"When I am on defense I try to play like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. The two of them just punish the players on the offense; every play, every game. On offense, I play like Le'Ron McClain, fast enough to play as a running back but physical enough to be a dominant full back. If I had to choose though, I would rather play defense. Nothing is better than a big hit."

As Ayers looks forward to the upcoming season, he likes to stay prepared and make sure his time is used wisely.

"Most of the day I am in the weight room, watching film or working on improving my skills. The way I see it, there is always someone that can outperform you. So, in order for me to beat them, I need to work twice as hard as they do. I can only assume that the reason they would be better than me is because of how hard they work. So if I feel like I got a little left in the tank at the end of the day, I know that the next day I need to work even harder. The only way to be the best I can be on the field is to work as hard as I can off the field."

After the success of winning the state championship this past season, Ayers and his teammates are even more focused on getting back again this season.

"We are all extremely close, my teammates are as close to me as my family. They are my brothers and when one of us goes to war, we all do. As a team, we don't let anyone underachieve, if you want to be a member of this team, YOU MUST BRING IT, every second of every day, no exceptions. We have very high expectations and we all want to live up to them."

As mentioned before, Ayers doesn't have any favorites at this time. However, he does want to check out Central Michigan out before he makes his final decision.

"Right now, UNLV and Toledo are recruiting me hard. I would like to check out all my options however, before I settle on a school. With that being said, I would like the opportunity to come see CMU's campus and possibly tour their facilities to see if it is a good place and fit for me. I know they haven't given me an offer yet, but I would love the opportunity to play for a premier program like CMU's."

Central Michigan established some strong roots in the state of Maryland last year and with the interest of players like Ayers, that looks to continue this year.

Stick to ChippewaCountry.com for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.

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