BILLINGS - Those following the college football career of Nate Dick may think the former Billings Senior standout can't catch a break health-wise. And they'd be right. Sort of.
Truth is, breaks are a big part of what Dick has been dealing with in recent seasons.
"Two broken feet; I broke my left foot my redshirt freshman year, right foot my redshirt sophomore year and then tore my Achilles."
Dick could've said, I'm done — yet he's still one of the first on the field despite a series of rough injuries. It's easy to see why his mom was a little hesitant about her son rolling the dice on another football year.
"She kind of wanted me to hang it up, especially after this last injury," he admitted with a smile. "She was a little nervous about me coming back, but she was pretty excited that I finally made it through a collegiate season."
Dick's iron will is also glaring among teammates.
"He comes to prove himself every day in the weight room and on the field," said linebacker Dylan Beridon. "I mean, he plays like he's ageless."
The psychology of overcoming a barrage of injuries weighs on a lot of college athletes, and not all are able to overcome the mental hardships.
"If you're not good up here," Dick said, pointing to his head, "...you're not going to be able to come out here and compete. So I think the biggest thing is just talking to people about it, creating relationships throughout the team because a lot of guys on this team are going through the same stuff."
Head coach Chris Stutzriem is looking forward to his first spring camp with a healthy No. 11.
"This is going to be his first time going through spring ball (with me as head coach), so I'm very excited to see him progress."
Montana's 2016 Gatorade Football Player of the Year from Billings Senior could've graduated from Rocky last spring, but instead may end up with a double major.
"I was going to be a teacher, went the whole teaching route and decided it wasn't for me," Dick said, "...so, I'm going to get an english degree and kind of figure it out from there."
For now, he's adding minors to the resume in psychology and creative writing. No doubt Dick could write a creative story on his rugged ride at Rocky.
"It's been a wild journey. A lot of trials and tribulations, a lot of bumps in the road but I wouldn't want it any other way."