In the feel good NFL story of the day, the Philadelphia Eagles have signed an Army veteran to their roster. No, not just to make headlines, to give Alejandro Villanueva a real shot at making the 53-man cut this summer.
Villanueva is a US Army Ranger who’s done three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Before taking on a full-time career in the military, Villanueva did spend a portion of time with the Cincinnati Bengals and he obviously has a football background.
At 6-9, 277 pounds he’s definitely got the size to make some noise at OTAs and training camp in the coming months. The Eagles reportedly want to try him out along their defensive line.
Here’s what Villanueva told NFL Network about his future plans with the Eagles and the military:
“The four years I’ve had in the Army have been the best four years you could ask for. The guys I served with, above me and under me, were phenomenal guys. They were good experiences that made me the man I am today. But now, I see this as a win-win situation. Obviously, I’m trying to get to a team and contribute. But if I can’t, then I can’t wait to get back to the Army and serve in the same manner that I have.”
The term ‘real American’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but it sounds like Villanueva is most certainly deserving of that moniker. If he doesn’t make the Eagles, he’s simply going to re-enlist in the Army. What a guy.
Here’s to hoping that he does make the Eagles final roster and that he gets a break from defending this great land.