Keenan Reynolds can defer service and join the NFL

May 28, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Keenan Reynolds, an American football wide receiver, is being allowed by the Department of Defense to defer his military service and play in the NFL this season. Reynolds received the great news from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during his commencement speech at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Keenan Reynolds

Keenan Reynolds is going to the NFL with Ashton Carter‘s blessing.

Friday was a very special day for Reynolds – along with 1075 students, he graduated in a ceremony held at the Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium near the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Indiana. The commencement speech was given by none other than Defense Secretary Carter.

Carter had the crowd screaming with joy as he announced that Reynolds, who was graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, has been granted permission to defer his military service and play in the NFL this year. Here is a brief bio of Mr. Reynolds:

“Keenan Reynolds was born to Donald and Jacqueline Reynolds. Donald was a former football player at Tennessee–Martin. He is an American football wide receiver and running back for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Navy Midshipmen as a quarterback, where finished his career with an NCAA Division I record 88 career touchdowns and an NCAA FBS record 4,559 rushing yards by a quarterback.On February 28, 2016, the Naval Academy announced that Reynolds would be the last player to wear No. 19. Reynolds joins the list of Roger Staubach (No. 12), Joe Bellino (No. 27) and Napoleon McCallum (No. 30) whose numbers have been retired by the school.”

Carter’s announcement was the last step in allowing Reynolds to play for the Baltimore Ravens. Despite being drafted, Reynolds always stated that he planned to fulfill his military obligation, “which is a minimum of five years for service academy graduates.” After the big announcement, he shared his excitement:

“It is a blessing to hear the news from Defense Secretary Carter today.I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL. I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity. I would also like to thank Mr. Bisciotti and the Ravens organization for believing in me and giving me this chance.”

Earlier this month it was revealed that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus submitted a request and “strongly recommended” that Reynolds be cleared to join the NFL after a standout college career – most people expected the request to be accepted. Mabus added that he can not think of “a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.”

The Ravens drafted Reynolds in the sixth round and are looking “to turn the triple-option quarterback into a wide receiver and returner in the NFL. He finished his college career as the FBS’ all-time leader in total touchdowns (88), rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559) and points scored (530).”

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome issued a statement that read:

“This is good news, and congratulations to Keenan on his graduation today.”

Navy fullback Chris Swain, who signed with the San Diego Chargers, has also been cleared to play in 2016.

What are your thoughts on Keenan Reynolds’ move to the NFL?


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