Redskins

Redskins

The only thing from Sunday more confusing than the performance of the Redskins' hands team on that late Panthers onside kick was the emergence of Nate Orchard.

Or, as most fans knew him as on Sunday, "That No. 54 guy." 

Orchard was signed by Washington on Wednesday and, because of Ryan Kerrigan's concussion, Montez Sweat's in-game injury and Ryan Anderson's ejection, he was forced to play key snaps.

And somehow, despite the fact that he probably still needs to use his Maps app to get to the Redskins' Ashburn facility and barely knew what plays the defense was running, he excelled on those key snaps.

Now, whether Orchard turns out to be a one-week wonder or someone who continues to chip in remains to be seen, but regardless, he was an enormous reason why the Burgundy and Gold took down Carolina. So, let's get to know him a little better with these three facts.

1) He's fought HARD for his chance with the Redskins

Are job interviews fun? Of course they're not. They're stressful, they require intense preparation and, when they don't go well, they're supremely disheartening. 

Well, as it turns out, Orchard has been through a ton of job interviews just this season:

Here's a player who was told "no thanks" 10 separate times before signing with Washington last week. That is a serious commitment to the sport and incredible resolve. No wonder he got so emotional with JP Finlay postgame.  

 

2) Many national fans already know him from Hard Knocks

Orchard was drafted by the Browns in 2015, and when Cleveland was featured on Hard Knocks in 2018, the pass rusher was one of the more featured players on the show.

Orchard's family life got some run on the program, which helped him become a favorite. However, he was ultimately cut by the Browns in the series finale that year, which is the kind of gut punch Hard Knocks has gotten really good at throughout its existence. 

Fortunately, he was the one delivering the gut punches in Week 13 at Bank of America Stadium. Your loss, Browns. Also, your loss, too, Panthers. 

3) He dominated in high school... on both sides of the ball

Look, it's no surprise that someone who ended up as a second-round NFL pick destroyed kids in high school. The thing with Orchard, though, is that he destroyed kids in high school on offense and defense.

While suiting up for Highland High School in Utah, Orchard racked up 17.5 sacks while also catching 58 passes for 1,300-plus yards and 17 scores.

17.5 sacks and 17 scores from one player? That's nasty. Hopefully you had him in your Utah High School Football Fantasy League that year.

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