Life after football

With all the stress that students encounter from day to day, many overlook the hardships that student athletes face. Austin Raught and Nick Webb are two seniors who just finished their final college football seasons at Weber State University.

The question many graduating players are asking at the end of this season is what they will do next.

Raught has been playing football for 12 years. Four of those years have been dedicated to playing for WSU. He entered his senior season as one of the top returning receivers for the Wildcats, and had a total of 244 yards with two touchdowns for the year. He played in all 11 games this season.

Raught said being a student athlete was a great experience and helped him grow as a person. He said the coaching staff at WSU was always there to help him, on and off the field.

“The experience was awesome,” Raught said. “I had a great time playing for Coach Mac. The coaches were awesome.”

Raught said he is looking forward to graduating in spring 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication. He said it will be different after the season, and he will miss the experiences he has had while playing football.

“I will miss the relationships with the players and coaches, as well as playing in the games,” Raught said.

Raught said he will now focus on the future, as his days of playing football have come to an end. He said he feels new opportunities are waiting for him. He currently has an internship with Northwestern Mutual, where he hopes to be hired as a full-time employee after graduation.

Webb entered his senior season as one of the top linebackers in the conference and was named to the Big Sky Preseason All-Conference. Webb, like Raught, has been playing football for 12 years, four of which were dedicated to WSU, and said he hopes to continue playing in the NFL.

Webb was a member of Head Coach Ron McBride’s first WSU recruiting class, signing in 2005 and enrolling in 2008. Webb has been a part of many successful seasons as a Wildcat. With one Big Sky Conference championship and two playoff appearances, Webb said he is ending the season with a sense of accomplishment.

“It was a great experience playing for all coaches,” Webb said, “especially playing for Coach Swan, who has coached me  all four years and in two different position. He has taught me everything I know.”

As the year is coming to an end, Webb said he has worked hard both on and off the field to keep his GPA high. Webb will be graduating in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in management. He said he will miss a lot of things about playing football, but some things won’t be missed.

“I will miss the friendships I have made and playing and traveling with the team,” Webb said. “I definitely will not miss the hard practices and the offseason workouts.”

Raught and Webb are just two of many senior athletes whose college seasons have come to an end but are looking ahead. WSU football has 11 seniors graduating this semester.