Army veteran Daniel Rodriguez to begin practicing with Clemson football team Friday
CLEMSON - Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Daniel Rodriguez will begin practicing with the Clemson football team Friday after being cleared by ACC officials today.
Rodriguez, 24, was approved to walk on the Clemson football team for the 2012 season by the NCAA last month. He will attend college on the G.I. Bill.
Rodriguez was wounded in October 2009 while engaged in fighting with Taliban soldiers while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, earning both a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He also served a tour of duty in Iraq.
He was honorably discharged and became interested in pursuing a college football career, creating a video that served as his recruiting film and which caught the eye of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
Rodriguez visited Clemson in the spring and was offered a chance to walk on by Swinney.
“I am very happy for Daniel,” Swinney said in a news release. “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 started for three years at Brooke Pointe High School in Stafford, Va., playing receiver, safety, cornerback and on special teams.
He will play receiver at Clemson.
He enlisted in the Army in 2007 and was sent to Iraq after basic training following his high school career.