Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to you?


Nathan Dorton: Football has been my vehicle through life. I have grown up so much through something as simple as a sport. It’s just a game, but I love it, and it has been so good to me eventhrough the times of struggle.

Joe Gaiter: Where are you from and how was your childhood?

Nathan Dorton I grew up in Irmo, South Carolina. It is right outside of Columbia. My childhood was very fun. All I ever did was play sports out in the yard with all of my buddies.

Joe Gaiter: When did you start playing football?


Nathan Dorton: 7 years old


Joe Gaiter: What is your motivation for playing football?


Nathan Dorton I have always had a drive and desire to play football that is unmatched. Even through times when I didn’t think I would be able to play anymore, that desire was still so strong. It was put there by God for a reason, and my motivation for playing football is to find that reason.

Joe Gaiter: What will you miss most about playing at Appalachian State and Emory & Henry College?


Nathan Dorton: I will miss touching the “Today I give my all for Appalachian State” sign on our way out of the locker room. That statement described how I played every single day. I will miss my teammates from both schools.

Joe Gaiter: How has Appalachian State and Emory & Henry College changed your life?


Nathan Dorton: Appalachian taught me how to persevere and how to keep working to achieve a goal that at times never seemed attainable. At Emory, I learned to stay true to myself and don’t let anyone rob you of your dream. I learned to trust in myself and trust in God no matter what. No man can stop his plan, and I strive daily to follow his will.

Joe Gaiter: Has it been hard showing your talents to the world coming from a small school?


Nathan Dorton: It has been hard, but I have had some good help. I started working with Leon Hughes from He really opened some doors for me. My agent Ken Barrett with Barrett Sports Management also has started opening some doors for me.


Joe Gaiter: Are you prepared enough to be in be in the NFL?


Nathan Dorton: I’ve been ready for this opportunity my whole life.


Joe Gaiter: Do you have a backup plan if you don’t get drafted?


Nathan Dorton: I’m really interested in how the CFL does things. Their game is really wide open and I like that. I would try to play in the CFL. If that didn’t work out, I would stay in Columbia and coach the receivers at Gray Military Academy with my dad who is the defensive coordinator and my brother who is the linebackers coach. (GMA is a prep school/JUCO)


Joe Gaiter: What player in the NFL has your style of play?

Nathan Dorton: Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Wayne Chrebet

Joe Gaiter: What are your biggest strengths on the field?

Nathan Dorton: My quickness in and out of my routes, I can make any catch, I run crisp patterns and I am resilient. I’m not afraid to go across the middle and do the dirty work. 

Joe Gaiter: What are the keys to play your position on the field?


Nathan Dorton: Foot speed, foot quickness, hands, Understanding of coverage and pass concepts


Joe Gaiter: How do you plan on giving back to the community after you get drafted?


Nathan Dorton: I would like to buy football equipment for high school programs that are in need of new gear. I would also like to help high school athletes get college scholarships to see them fulfill their dreams as well.

Joe Gaiter: How would your friends describe you off the field?


Nathan Dorton: Goofy and fun, I am pretty easy going off the field 

Joe Gaiter: When is your pro-day and combine and how are you preparing?


Nathan Dorton: I am still working on getting into a pro day. Emory & Henry doesn’t have one, so my agent, Mr. Leon Hughes and I have been trying to get into one. I was selected to play in the South Carolina All Star Bowl and they have a combine/pro day scheduled, so if nothing else I will have that.

Joe Gaiter: Do you think your hard work will pay off?


Nathan Dorton: No doubt.

Joe Gaiter: What do you want your football legacy to be?


Nathan Dorton: My favorite bible verse is “Blessed is the man who keeps on going even when times are tough.” James 1:12 I want that to be my legacy on and off the field. 


Joe Gaiter: Final Words? 


Nathan Dorton: I just want to say that I appreciate everyone who has had a hand in helping me get to this point, and that I will not let you down. I would not be in this position if it were not for God’s hand on my life. I have grown so much through this sport and I truly believe my ultimate destiny is to be playing football while inspiring every kid who always dreamt of making it big with my story. I know that whatever team picks me and gives me a shot won’t ever regret it.