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Published: Thursday, 6/16/2011

Kmic to play for U.S. in international event

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Nate Kmic Nate Kmic
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Nate Kmic believes there's still plenty left in the tank for him as a football player.

The 2004 Blade football player of the year from Delta, he is looking forward to showing that he still can make plays as a running back, despite not playing a down of organized football since his final college season at Mount Union in 2008.

Kmic, who was recently selected to the 2011 U.S. Men's National Football team, will have an opportunity to show his skills haven't eroded when the U.S. participates in the fourth International Federation of American Football Senior World Championship on July 8-16 in Austria.

"It's so exciting to play again," said Kmic, who has spent the last three years serving as a Mount Union running backs coach. "Obviously, coaching is not the same as playing, but being around it (football) has kept me hungry to do it."

Kmic, 23, finished his college career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher with 8,074 yards and a Division III three-time All-American. The fleet-footed back owns the all-division college records for all-purpose yards (9,651), career points (780), career touchdowns (130), touchdowns in a season (44 in 2008), and points in a season (264 in 2008).

In high school, Kmic rushed for 1,681 yards during his senior year.

One of 39 players making up Team USA, he is optimistic about being able to carry the football similar to how he did in high school and college.

"I've been working out hard and staying in shape, really on my own accord," said the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder. "I sent in a DVD of my highlights and got selected and I'm excited for it.

"I've been around the sport and I've been helping with the running backs (at Mount Union) and I feel that it's still there."

Mount Union coach Larry Kehres was named Team USA's offensive coordinator, which gives Kmic an opportunity to go out and play in an offensive system he's familiar with.

Kmic helped the Purple Raiders win three NCAA D-III national championships, but didn't receive much interest to play professionally. He had tryouts with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes.

Could playing in the IFAF Senior World Championship provide him with some exposure for another chance at trying to make it to the professional ranks?

"I don't know if anything will come of it," he said. "I just want to go out and play for the love of the sport. That's what I'm excited for right now."

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com or 419-724-6302.



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