Nick Paris, the starting center on Florida Atlantic’s football team from 2005-2008, has signed a contract to play for the Kent Predators of the Indoor Football League for the upcoming 2010 season.
“The Coach contacted me and asked if I was interested in playing. I told him I was interested, but not a big guy anymore and couldn’t play center. He came down, worked me out, and afterwards gave me a contract. I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given”, said Paris.
A leader on FAU’s offensive line during his career, Paris was regarded by fellow teammates and staff members as both a personality on the field and a heady player who understood the ins and outs of signal calling and blocking techniques. He contributed strongly towards the Owl’s successful 2007 and 2008 campaigns, which featured back to back bowl wins.
Paris had applied for an opening on FAU’s football staff earlier this year as an offensive graduate assistant, but was not hired. However, the process allowed him to gain further insight as to where he is in life at the moment.
“Ultimately, the game does pass people by, and I would love to coach one day. Coaching, as a future, would be my ultimate dream. But, right now, I feel like I’m not done playing. I would have liked to be around all my old team, but God has a different path for me. Just go through the door”, he said.
Paris will be asked to shift into another role for the Predators; most likely as a defensive end. However he says his experience against opponents and willingness to learn will be keys to his success.
“In my heart of hearts, I love playing the game. When you love something so much, like football, you’ll learn it. It will be a challenge to learn (a new position) but I know how to play offensive line, so I know how to beat people also”, said Paris.
Having been out of football for a while, conditioning is a question which naturally arises. Paris says he has been staying the course while following a regime consisting of an hour of jump rope and weights per day, and running five miles every other day. It has paid dividends.
Today, while only a shadow of his former self as a center, Paris is down to 230 lbs; which is 80 lbs lighter than his heaviest official roster listing.
Given where the team looks to place him, he appears ready.
Paris will report to the Predators pre-season camp on February 12th . The team will kick-off on February 28th against the Billings Outlaws.