Nate Hairston has come a long way from his stormy beginning at Temple. It took one attitude change and a switch in positions to turn Hairston into an NFL prospect.
The 6-foot, 196-pound Hairston has been projected to be selected in the fourth or fifth round of the NFL draft, which begins on Thursday in Philadelphia with the first round, followed by rounds two and three on Friday and the final four rounds on Saturday.
Hairston began his career as a receiver and moved to cornerback his redshirt junior year. This past season he started 13 of 14 games for the 10-4 Owls who won the American Athletic Conference championship.
Hariston was invited to the East-West Shrine Game and then the NFL Combine, which both helped his profile.
Yet he admits that he wouldn't have been in this position had he not changed his attitude.
Hariston, who received his degree in communications, was suspended by then coach Matt Rhule for three games after missing class during his redshirt sophomore season.
"We definitely butted heads and I think it was me being immature and not being able to see what coach Rhule saw in me," Hairston said in a phone interview. "He had it all planned out and he pushed me and I couldn't understand at the time but going through that helped me mature and now I love coach Rhule."
Hairston said he didn't play in the secondary much in high school so he feels he has plenty of room to grow at the position.
He's most proud that he came out of nowhere as a senior and is now on the radar of NFL teams.
"Before the season, I don't think my name was on any draft boards," he said. "I never worried about that stuff and all I thought about was doing what I was supposed to do to help the team win every football game."
He'll be glad when the draft process ends. Hairston met with six teams. Among the visits, he had private workouts with the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans.