PHILADELPHIA– Former Temple Owls’ cornerback Nate Hairston was selected by the Indianapolis Colts Saturday in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 158th overall pick.
Hairston, who converted to the corner position in 2015 after seeing little action as a wide receiver, started 13 games for the Owls in 2016, helping lead Temple to a 10-4 record, including an American Athletic Conference Championship.
In 2016, the Frederick, Maryland-native and Gov. Thomas Johnson high school product totaled 25 tackles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups for Temple. He was the senior leader in Temple’s secondary that was third in the nation defending the pass, and did not allow a touchdown pass against him.
A class of 2012 recruit, Hairston was a 2-star player coming out of high school, according to 247Sports players rankings.
“Nate is a long, physical corner,” said Temple head coach Geoff Collins. “I’m excited about him. Having coached some very talented defensive backs in my career, I can see him playing great on Sunday’s for the Colts.”
Though he is one of the rawest corners in this year’s draft class, Hairston has the potential to be a starter in the league for a long time. In going to Indianapolis, he will have the chance to immediately make an impact with the Colts, as Indy has struggled consistently over the years in defending the pass. The Colts were 27th in defending the pass in 2016-17, giving up 263.0 passing yards per game to opponents.
Despite this, Hairston will have the opportunity to learn from veteran defensive backs like Vontae Davis and Darius Butler. Hairston is the second cornerback selected by the Colts in this years draft, joining the University of Florida’s Quincy Wilson, who was coached by Temple’s Collins in college.
The Indianapolis Colts ruled out seven players, including six starters, for Thursday night’s game at the New England Patriots, while six others are listed as questionable.
With a rash of injuries and coming off a 70-minute overtime game on a short week, Colts head coach Frank Reich decided to hold only walkthroughs this week, meaning the team won’t have an actual practice before playing the Patriots. But the lighter work was not enough to keep several players from missing Thursday.
As expected, top wideout T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) will not play. Joining him will be running back Marlon Mack (hamstring), tight end Jack Doyle (hip), right tackle Denzelle Good (not injury related), cornerbacks Quincy Wilson (concussion) and Kenny Moore (concussion), and backup defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (calf).
Of that group, only Mack participated on even a limited basis in walkthroughs this week, but he has battled a hamstring issue since the pre season and will miss his fourth game of the year.
Listed as questionable are center Ryan Kelly (hand), left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle), cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle), safety Clayton Geathers (knee) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (right groin). All six were listed as limited on Wednesday after all but Castonzo sat out Tuesday’s session.
Castonzo has yet to play this season after aggravating his hamstring issue on multiple occasions since the pre season. He had previously missed a total of five games in seven NFL seasons.
Kelly and Geathers have each not missed a snap this season for Indy, while Leonard and Hairston have missed just one apiece. Leonard, a second-round rookie, leads the NFL in tackles (54) while ranking third in tackles for loss (seven) and tied for sixth in sacks (four).
Reich told reporters earlier this week he had faith the Colts’ other receivers would step up in Hilton’s absence, as they did against the Texans on Sunday. Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant and Zach Pascal combined for 19 catches, 205 yards and a score vs. Houston.
“As far as gameplanning, we have a lot of confidence in the next guy up,” Reich said. “I think that showed this past week — when T.Y. went out, we still were able to move the ball well.
.”.. So we’ll miss T.Y., but at the same time, you’ve just gotta have the next-man-up mentality.”
Good is the only player on the Colts’ report for a non-injury reason. He will not play after his brother was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in South Carolina on Tuesday.
Hooker did it again. He recorded his second interception in his second career start. Of course, this one was of a different nature than his inaugural pick and isn’t why he was considered as rookie of the week material for the second straight week.
Besides the fact that the rookie pool was dwindled this week, with injuries to Marlon Mack, Quincy Wilson and Anthony Walker, Hooker seemed to be in position to make plays on the ball on several occasions.
And when he seemed to be out of place, he did what he does best and ate up grass like a gazelle to make up for it. If not for what seemed to be a few poorly placed balls by DeShone Kizer, Hooker may have added even more intercepted pigskins to his trophy case.
One particular pass was in the 4th quarter on 3rd and 9, Kizer attempted a throw up the middle to Ricardo Louis and Hooker jumped it. If the ball had been a little more on target, it would’ve been an easy Hooker pick.
He wasn’t perfect, however, as he did get beat deep on occasion. An example of this was early in the 2nd quarter, Kizer heaved a ball deep down the left sideline to Kenny Britt who was left open due to a Hooker false step.
Later on, during the 2nd quarter, Hooker was in man coverage, which is not one of his strong suits, and he let Seth DeValve body him up and catch a bullet for a 20-yard gain.
Hooker is playing an infinitely difficult position as a single high safety, one that is among the rarest in terms of talented players. So, even though his downs are evident, his ups are promising enough to light up the eyes of Colts fans.
New York, NY – Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County Maryland, a safe haven for young boys and girls in the area since 2010, announced today that MBK Sports client and Indianapolis Colts defensive back Nate Hairston has been named to their Board of Directors as an honorary member. As part of his duties, Hairston will make public appearances at the club, attend fundraisers and allow the use of his name and likeness to promote the club and its mission.
After he attended Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Hairston earned a scholarship to attend Temple University. After his first three seasons as a wide receiver, Hairston switched to cornerback and never looked back. He was drafted in the 5th Round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts and quickly earned himself a spot on the 53-man roster as the Colts starting nickel cornerback.
“The Boys and Girls Club has meant so much to myself and my family over the years,” Hairston said. “I’m just grateful that God has put me in a position where I can give back to my community and serve as a positive role model for the youth in the area.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County on this prestigious opportunity for Nate,” said Eugene Lee, President of MBK Sports. “Nate is always looking for ways to use his platform to make a difference, especially with the youth of our generation. His leadership position within the club will provide a dynamic vehicle to pay it forward and impact lives in a positive and meaningful way.”
“Nate Hairston’s involvement with Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County (BGCFC) will be a tremendous opportunity for the club members,” said Lisa McDonald the Executive Director at Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County. “They can imagine and dream, just like Nate did, and they will certainly look to him as a positive role model.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the nation’s oldest and largest organization with a primary mission to serve young people from disadvantaged circumstances. Since 1860, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has grown to over 3,000 Clubs reaching more than three million deserving kids in neighborhoods across America. Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County Maryland began in 2002 and offers out of school programs to at-risk youth. By 2010 the Club became an officially chartered organization as it continued to provide a safe environment for young people to have fun and better themselves.
MBK Sports (MBK) is a full-service NFL player representation industry dedicated to the growth and fulfillment of its clients’ careers and potential, both on and off the field, in the short and long-term. Founded by long-time NFL agent and attorney Eugene T. Lee and with offices in New York City, Indianapolis and Los Angeles, MBK’s far-reaching footprint is impacting lives nationwide through a foundation of faith and a dynamic combination of diligence, experience, integrity and industry expertise.