If there's a bright side to college football powers scheduling FCS teams, its that players who wouldn't normally get to play get a chance for some game action. And Clemson's 52-6 win Saturday against The Citadel was the perfect opportunity for Daniel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, a Purple Heart recipient, scored on a little push pass fly sweep in the fourth quarter. Yeah, the touchdown made the score 52-3, but that doesn't the diminish the coolness of the story.
The 25-year-old was wounded in 2009 during the Battle of Kamdesh, one of 22 who were injured. Before he spent a year in Afghanistan, he spent 1.5 years in Iraq. After Kamdesh, he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal.
He joined the military after the death of his father. Rodriguez was planning on playing football in college after high school, but his father died four days after he graduated. With poor grades, and what USA Today termed "a splintered family," Rodriguez joined the Army. His first college football experience was seven years after he last played in high school.
Rodriguez, a redshirt sophomore, was able to walk on via the GI Bill at Clemson after the school offered to submit a waiver for immediate eligibility in 2012. He caught three passes that season and entering Saturday, had five catches this year.
Now he has a touchdown.
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