Decorated veteran to join Clemson football team

Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-02 21:00:11-04

By Aaron Barker
Clemson, SC (WHNS) — An Army veteran who earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star will join the Clemson Tigers football team this fall.

Daniel Rodriguez, 24, of Virginia, served in the military from 2006 to 2010, and served 1 1/2 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before enrolling in the military, Rodriguez played football for Brooke Point High School in Stafford, VA. He lettered three years as a slot receiver, running back, corner back, holder, quarterback and kick returner.

After returning from the front, Rodriguez was featured on the front page of USA Today and profiled by CNN and Dan Rather Reports on HDNet. In the pieces, Rodriguez talked about his desire to return to the gridiron.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said a video of one of those profiles he found on the internet inspired him to offer Rodriguez a spot with the Tigers.

“We are excited to have him join our program,” Swinney said. “I have no doubt that he will become a great leader for us. His background and story is an inspiration to us all.”

Rodriguez will wear No. 83 for the Tigers, and will work with the receivers this year. He will have three years of eligibility.