Former Utah and Highland High standout Nate Orchard made quite the impression on a fellow traveler during a recent flight from Salt Lake City to Cleveland.
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer shared the story of how Orchard, who’s now in the NFL playing defensive end for the Browns, struck up a friendship with widow Judy Krueger.
It all started when Krueger asked Orchard for an autograph for her 11-year-old grandson, and Orchard insisting not only on an autograph but a picture as well, Pluto related. The story included Orchard walking with Krueger to baggage claim and helping her along the way, even as fans continued to approach him.
“In the 15 years since my husband died, no one has ever offered to help me with a bag,” Krueger wrote in an email, according to Pluto. “I have struggled through a lot of airports and no one has ever even noticed or offered to help.
“Nate Orchard had no cameras watching. He had no reason to be kind to an almost 70-year-old woman…but he took the time to be helpful, patient, kind.”
The football brotherhood
Former BYU linebacker Fred Warner is documenting his experience going through training camp as a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers with a first-person account available on the team’s website.
In the latest edition, Warner talks about the brotherhood and relationships he is building with his teammates on the defensive side of the ball.
Warner described sitting next to former Utah and Timpview High pass rusher Pita Taumoepenu on a trip to Houston for a preseason game: “He’s an interesting character… No, I’m just kidding. He’s a cool dude. He played at Utah and I played at BYU so we had a little bit of a connection there.”
He also relayed how veteran cornerback Richard Sherman coordinated a dinner for the entire defense in Houston, and how the first-year 49er Sherman is proving to be a big reason why the team’s defense is coming together.
“I honestly didn’t expect to be a part of a team that is so tight-knit,” Warner wrote. “I’ve written this already, but it’s almost as if we’re still in college. Everybody is that tight with each other.”
And finally ...
The BYU women's basketball team is currently competing overseas on a four-game, 12-day European tour. Associate head coach Dan Nielson shared something he found while shopping in Italy.