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WATCH: NFL’s brightest prospects experience ‘day in the life’ of a service member

Two football standouts may have what it takes to be drafted into the NFL... but do they have what it takes to cut it in the military?
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Photo USAA

Just days before the first round of the NFL Draft, two of the NFL’s brightest prospects, Bo Nix (QB, Oregon) and Joe Alt (OL, Notre Dame), took time away during their career-making month to salute the fans that matter most, participating in a “day in the life” experience at Selfridge Air National Guard Base outside Detroit in partnership with USAA, Official NFL Salute to Service Partner. 

The prospects bonded with each other and our military in a day spent on-base that was highlighted by:

  • Flight experience in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter
  • Flight plan took a route over downtown Detroit, the site of the 2024 NFL Draft
  • On-the-ground tours of military aircraft, including the KC-135 Stratotanker and the A-10 Thunderbolt II (commonly known as the “Warthog”)
  • Meet & greet / autograph signing for military personnel based at Selfridge ANGB

One of Nix’s grandfathers, Robert Chapman, served in the Air Force, while both of Alt’s grandfathers, Roger Rozmark and Robert Alt, served in the Army. Both prospects quickly found chemistry by connecting over their shared appreciation for the defenders of our country.

While Nix and Alt may not make it as soldiers, their prospects in the NFL are looking very solid.

In anticipation of the Draft, NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say about Bo Nix: “Rare five-year starting quarterback whose play has matured in front of our eyes. Nix displays the accuracy, arm talent and athleticism consistent with today’s brand of pro quarterback. He can be punctual in getting the ball out at the top of his drop or he can work through progressions and beat defenses with second-reaction plays. He throws with good velocity and puts the ball on the money when throwing on the move. Nix has shown great improvement with his pocket poise. He’s capable of moving the sticks as a scrambler or as part of the running game. Some of his gaudy production has been driven by the Oregon offense’s design, but his talent clearly stands out. I’ve harbored bias from watching the overwhelmed version of Nix during his Auburn days, but as the saying goes, ‘tape don’t lie.’ Nix appears more than ready to attack the league with an NFL-caliber skill set.”

Zierlein’s analysis of Alt was, “Long-limbed team captain with NFL-quality tackle play coursing through his veins. Alt plays a disciplined brand of football, avoiding penalties and working with fluid transitions from entry to sustain to finish as a run blocker. Alt is a capable drive blocker with the foot quickness to play onto the second level. He struggles to bend enough to compensate for his height and ends up playing with waist-bending and forward lean that can hamper his anchor against bull-rushers. Alt has quick hands and outstanding arm extension, promoting his ability to sustain blocks and redirect pass-rushers. He’s a good technician who carries himself with confidence from snap to snap.”

After overcoming their nerves of flying in the helicopter, both walked away from the base with a deeper appreciation for our military.

The experience was hosted by USAA, Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, as part of their “Salute to Service” program. This is one of many authentic military appreciation events that USAA and the NFL have created to foster an understanding and appreciation for the military community, bringing our military closer to a game they love.


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