Makai Hart, a standout offensive lineman for UTSA's football team, comes from a long line of athletes. His passion for football is deeply rooted in his family's love for the sport.
"My dad played, my brother played, so it was just obvious as soon as I could play football I just started," he explained.
The influence of his sports-loving family was undeniable, setting the stage for his remarkable journey in the world of football.
Choosing UTSA was an easy decision for Hart. He credits the coaching staff's genuine care for him as a person, not just a player, as the deciding factor.
"It wasn't just all about the X's and O's with football; they were about me as a person and who I would become," he said.
This strong connection and the cultural pillars of integrity, passion, mental and physical toughness, selflessness and perfect effort at UTSA have had a profound impact on Hart’s life.
As Hart approaches his final year at UTSA, he reflects on what lies ahead.
"I'm looking forward to just getting started in my life, outside of college," he said. “I’m excited to pursue my dreams and provide even more for my family.”
This season is particularly significant for Hart, as he didn't get to play much last year due to injuries. He approaches each practice and game with a sense of gratitude and a focus on having fun with his teammates while competing.
Being one of the older players on the team, Hart embraces the role of a mentor and leader. He draws from his wealth of experience, both on and off the field, to guide and support younger players.
"I've been through so much stuff in my career — football, academically, just mentally and physically," he said.
Hart takes his role seriously, helping the younger players mature and navigate the challenges of collegiate football.
For aspiring athletes, Hart offers valuable advice. He emphasizes the importance of academic dedication, resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges and mental fortitude.
"Things aren't going to go how you predict your career to go,” he warned, but he encourages young athletes to persevere, knowing that things will eventually improve.
Hart has earned his degree in multidisciplinary studies, and he plans to leverage it into a coaching career. Even as a player, he has begun studying the game from a coaching perspective, diving into coverages and strategies. His goal is to start coaching at the high school level and then transition to college football when the time is right.
Hart is a proud father who hopes to inspire his children with his work ethic and dedication.
"My kids, they are who I do it all for. I just want to give them everything I can," he said, emphasizing the importance of providing for his family while instilling the values of hard work and perseverance.
As Hart continues his journey in football and prepares for life beyond the field, his unwavering commitment to his family and his passion for the sport continue to drive his success. With his dedication and leadership, he is poised to make a significant impact, not only in the world of football, but also in the lives of those he touches along the way.