Daniel Rodriguez, a 24-year old United States Army veteran, has joined the Clemson football team, the school announced on Tuesday. The 5-foot-8 receiver will begin practice with the Tigers on Friday when Clemson starts fall camp.
This is a terrific story.
From the release:
Rodriguez served for one and a half years in Iraq and a year in Afghanistan. Over his military career (2006-10) he earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.
Rodriguez, who will wear No. 83 for the Tigers, has not played football since he was in high school at Brooke Point High in Stafford, VA. He lettered three years (2003-05) in high school as a slot receiver, running back, cornerback, holder, quarterback and kick returner. He will work with the receivers this year at Clemson and have three years of eligibility.
It has been Rodriguez’s dream to return to the football field at the college level. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney offered him a spot on the team as a walk-on after seeing a video about Rodriguez on the internet.
“I am very happy for Daniel,” Swinney said in a prepared statement. “He is getting the opportunity to follow his dream. We are excited to have him join our program. I have no doubt that he will become a great leader for us. His background and story is an inspiration to us all.”
Rodriguez, who will attend Clemson on the G.I. Bill, was featured on the front page of USA Today two weeks ago and has been profiled on CNN and Dan Rather Reports.