Austin Corbett is one of those guys who will never stray too far from his roots.
The former Reed and Wolf Pack star was back in Northern Nevada over the weekend, leading a youth football camp, signing autographs and reconnecting with friends, family and a large circle of admirers.
It was the continuation of what has been a busy and dramatic year so far for Corbett.
In February, he helped win a Super Bowl title for the Los Angeles Rams after starting all 17 regular-season games. By mid-March, though, his situation was vastly different, as he signed a three-year, $ 29.25 million deal with the Carolina Panthers, a team coming off a 5-12 season and without reaching the playoffs since 2017.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Corbett, 26, would serve as grand marshal of this year’s Reno Rodeo Parade.
Local honor:Austin Corbett named grand marshal of 2022 Reno Rodeo Parade
To top it off, Corbett, a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, gained an official day in his honor, with the City of Sparks declaring Monday, April 25, as “Austin Corbett Day.”
“It’s pretty unique to get a day,” Corbett said on Saturday. “It kind of caught me off guard. You know, you see some of those big-time guys in the NFL getting those. The community that is Sparks, and is Reno… it’s so much more than people can ever see.
“Especially now, going to these different cities, it’s” Where are you from? ” And they’ve never even heard of it. It’s like, ‘You’re missing out on so much.’ ”
On Saturday, Corbett was back at the familiar surroundings of Mackay Stadium, this time leading dozens of young players through camp activities.
He played at Nevada from 2013 to 2017, parlaying a walk-on offer into eventually becoming a leader of the Wolf Pack’s offensive line and one of the Mountain West’s top linemen, along with becoming a fan favorite at Mackay.
Corbett and fellow Pack lineman Joel Bitonio (2009-13) partnered to run the inaugural one-day youth football camp before Nevada’s Battle Born Showdown spring football game on Saturday.
The camp was a big hit – it pretty much sold out within hours of being announced – and Corbett said he enjoyed connecting with young players and then signing autographs afterward.
“This community gave us so much and we just wanted the chance to be able to come back,” Corbett said. “Joel and I were actually golfing down in San Diego (when the spring game was announced) and we were just talking and kind of put it together.
“I’m glad we can make it happen. It was an awesome turnout. Hopefully, we can just carry it into the future. ”
The camp was the latest expression of Corbett’s fondness for Northern Nevada.
He’s always been vocal about his pride in playing for competitive Reed teams as a high school star, then grinding his way to a full-time role with the Wolf Pack, where he played for bowl teams in 2014 and 2015.
Corbett has since made a name for himself as a solid NFL lineman. He was drafted No. 33 overall by the Cleveland Browns, where he played 15 games. He was traded to Los Angeles in October 2019, playing 41 games for the Rams, his last being Super Bowl 56, a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Corbett still lists former Reed coach Ernie Howren – who has since moved on to Bishop Manogue – as a big influence on his journey from anonymous high school lineman to college walk-on to in-demand NFL player.
“When coach Howren’s yelling, that’s the last thing you want,” Corbett said. “That man can get a message across like no other.
“It’s definitely crazy to think how far, and really how quickly, it’s all developed, and a lot of that does stem from him and his coaching abilities. I’m obviously sad he left (Reed); I wanted him to stay there forever. But you see what he’s done with Manaogue now, and it’s just a credit to his character, his coaching ability, and just the man that he is. ”
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