Player Spotlight: Nate Solder

Two days into spring ball, Nate Solder is having fun at his new position, offensive tackle. Inside, a Q&A with the 6-9 sophomore.

BSN: When can we expect you to be named first-team All-Big 12 at offensive tackle?
Nate Solder
: (laughs) I don't know about that.

BSN: Serious question: How has it been after two days?
Nate Solder
: After two days, it's a big change. But I guess there's more of the same than there is different. A lot of the run stuff is real similar to tight end. So I don't feel too far from what I was doing.

BSN: That's what I was going to ask – what are some of the overlapping things?
Nate Solder
: The run blocking is a big overlap. A lot of the same combo blocks. But none of the pass game is the same at all. I did a little pass blocking (as a tight end), but it's quite a bit different.

BSN: Does that include technique?
Nate Solder
: Yeah, the drop step (in pass blocking). I'd never done that before.

BSN: When did they actually come to you and talk to you about moving?
Nate Solder
: Right when we got back from the break, Coach Riddle mentioned that Coach Grimed was going to be on me about playing tackle. I let it play out a little, then he was on me about playing there. And I said, "Well, this looks like something I want to do." So I jumped on board with the idea.

BSN: So the final decision was up to you?
Nate Solder
: Yeah. They left it up to me.

BSN: What's Coach Grimes been like?
Nate Solder
: I like him a lot. He's a real good guy. He's a tough guy, but I feel like he also cares, so that makes me want to work harder for him.

BSN: How much do you weight right now?
Nate Solder
: About 277 – as of this morning.

BSN: Did you spend the offseason trying to gain weight?
Nate Solder
: Yeah. I've been working on it and it's just starting to kick in. I wasn't gaining and wasn't gaining. Now I'm just starting to gain.

BSN: What are you doing to try and gain weight?
Nate Solder
: I've been lifting more, but I've also been trying to get more calories. Lots of protein shakes and bigger meals.

BSN: How much weight do you think you can eventually carry?
Nate Solder
: They'd like me to be as close to 300 as I can get. If that's 295 or 305, somewhere around there.

BSN: When can you get to that weight?
Nate Solder
: It'll be by the start of fall camp.

BSN: And you'll keep the mobility?
Nate Solder
: Yeah. Coach Pit, he works really hard at getting guys big, but also keeping us explosive and mobile.

BSN: What's it like going up against the defensive ends in one on one drills?
Nate Solder
: That's fun. I've never done anything like that. I liked it a lot.

BSN: Coach Helfrich has termed your move an experiment, and by the midway point in camp you'll decide if you're going to stay at tackle or go back to tight end. Is that the way you understand it?
Nate Solder
: I've heard that, but also I feel like if I'm going to be good at tackle, I've got to dedicate myself to it from this point on. I don't think if I were to take a stance where I had one foot in and one foot out, I'd be able to be good at tackle by next year.

BSN: So both feet in?
Nate Solder
: Yeah, I'm going for it.


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