Connor Van Ligten
Indian Country Today
From college walk-on to starting in the Super Bowl, Austin Corbett has come a long way.
Corbett, Walker River Paiute, has played an important role in the Los Angeles Rams march to the big game.
The Rams made it to Super Bowl LVI after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 30. Corbett, who has started at the guard position in every game for the Rams, is a key foundation for the team’s offensive line, which was ranked seventh in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.
Corbett’s tribe has been cheering him on. Chairman Amber Torres made a post on the Social Distance Powwow Facebook group congratulating Corbett.
“Congratulations to #63 Austin Corbett and the LA RAMS on a great season. Way to chase your dreams to success,” the post reads. “He is a tribal member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz, Nevada!!! Let's support him from all across turtle island come Superbowl Sunday🏈”
Torres recently spoke to Indian Country Today to give Corbett additional well wishes.
“I think all of Indian Country is excited right now. They’re hearing the name Austin Corbett and everybody’s following our Native Paiute brother to make sure he’s on that road to success,” Torres said. “I think that the support and excitement behind him right now is overwhelming. I can imagine that for him, but it’s also putting Walker River on the map as well.”
Watch: Chairman Amber Torres talks Austin Corbett's impact
“I just can’t thank the tribe enough for the outpouring of support that I've received from them,” Corbett told the Reno Gazette Journal.
Corbett was born in Nevada and attended Edward C Reed High School. He received little interest from collegiate programs but managed to find playing time as a walk-on for the University of Nevada. Corbett improved steadily from season to season for the Wolfpack, earning an honorable mention in the 2015 All-Mountain West team, before earning second-team and first-team nods in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Corbett’s High School coach Ernie Howren spoke fondly of his time coaching the offensive lineman. “The thing that sticks out with Austin is that he’s a no-nonsense guy who doesn’t care about accolades,” Howren said. “He’s a hard worker and that makes him the ideal offensive lineman.”
After his senior year at Nevada, Corbett was invited to the 2018 Senior Bowl, an all-star showcase for up-and-coming NFL draft prospects. Corbett’s performance and tape impressed the Cleveland Browns and selected him with the 33rd overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft.
However, Corbett initially struggled and could not establish himself on their offensive line. He ultimately started just one game for the Browns before being traded to the Rams midway through the 2019 NFL season.
Corbett has been very dependable for the Rams. In the last two years, Corbett surrendered only four regular-season sacks and zero in the playoffs, according to Pro Football Focus. Corbett was named Bleacher Report's "best kept secret" on the Rams roster.
Torres said that Corbett’s story is a positive moment for the Walker River Paiute Tribe.
“What’s really exciting about that is so many people just need good news right now, and this is all coming at a great time. The excitement behind one of our own getting to the Super Bowl and following him and rallying around him, sending him good medicine. I feel it all across Indian Country right now, and on social media, and also on a local level,” Torres said.
Corbett has been getting support long before he made the Super Bowl. The Walker River Paiute Tribe’s Facebook page shared a tweet from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak wishing Corbett good luck in the NFC Championship game.
A week earlier, the Nevada Indian Commission’s Twitter account wished Corbett good luck as the Rams prepared to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round.
Super Bowl LVI will be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California on Feb. 13. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
This story has been updated to correct the university Corbett attended. He went to the University of Nevada.
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