by Steve Mohan in Native Currents. Discussion »
Levi Horn - Cheyenne
Levi Horn (Cheyenne) is an offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears. He signed as an undrafted free agent last April and spent last season on the practice squad. In January he signed a one year deal with the Bears before the lockout. He was an All-American at the University of Montana where he started his final two seasons. He has been doing a lot of work in the Native community partnered with N7.
Native News Network interviewed him to discuss his life, football career, and his work with N7.
Tell us about growing up and who your major influences were in your life.
Horn: I was born and raised in Spokane WA. My mom raised me and my older brother and sister by herself. They were my biggest influences in my life. They taught me to learn from the mistakes I make in life.
Were you raised in the Native American culture?
Horn: Yes my mom raised us native and we were very active in the culture going to powwows and other events.
When did you first become interested in football?
Horn: I have been interested in football my whole life. My youth and high school coaches were big father figures in my life and showed me how to work hard to get what I want and helped me to eat healthy.
What was your college career like?
Horn: I started off signing with the University of Oregon, but it just wasn't the right fit for me. I ended up transferring to the University of Montana.
What made you choose Montana?
Horn: Montana offered a great tradition of winning that I was looking for and offered a chance at a good education. They also had a big Native population which was also important to me.
Since you were not drafted what teams showed an interest in you?
Horn: The New York Jets and Denver Broncos showed some interest in me but Chicago probably showed the most interest.
What made you decide to sign with the Chicago Bears?
Horn: Mike Tice, the Bears offensive line coach, flew out to come see me and we had a real connection. The General Manager Jerry Angelo has also been very nice to me.
How was your first season in the NFL?
Horn: It was good, but I had little time to enjoy being an NFL player right away. It is a whirlwind of learning an NFL offense and stepping up to the level of NFL players. The veterans on the team have all been very good to me and helped ease my transition. Coach Tice has also been great. He is the best in the business.
What have you been up to since the NLF Lockout started? Are you living in the Chicago area during the lockout?
Horn: I live north of Chicago in the suburbs and have stayed here during the lockout. I have just been trying to stay in shape, workout, make sure I keep on a good diet, and try not to get myself hurt. I also have been trying to spend time with kids in the area.
Tell me about becoming a Nike N7 Ambassador. When did they approach you to become a part of the American Indian health and fitness program? What have you been doing for the Nike program?
Horn: Nike N7 contacted me around playoff time last year. We met a couple times and I signed on. They had me go down to New Mexico with the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). It was a lot of fun.
Do you see yourself as a role model to other American Indians?
Horn: Of course I do. I tried to be one in college but it adds a lot of extra weight. When I was at Oregon all my teammates were growing as people and having fun, but for me the added weight was really hard. It was scary at Oregon and I had no confidence in myself. Now I gladly accept that role and have been trying to do my part. I don't want to live as a statistic. I went to college and graduated and want to show that there are Natives on that level (of achievement).
Well thank you for the time Levi is there anything else you have going on that you want people to know about?
Horn: I will be walking in the Longest Walk 3 when it comes through Chicago and I also will be going up to Maine in the summer to meet with some American Indian kids there. I will keep the Native News Network updated and thank you for talking with me.
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