Air Force senior defensive lineman Ben Garland has signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos.
Garland, a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection, led the Falcons in sacks (4.5) and tackles for a loss (10.5) last season. He also forced a fumble and blocked two kicks.
Don’t expect Garland to be on the Invesco Field sidelines next season, however. Per DoD rules, service members must serve two years on active duty before applying for early release from their five-year commitment. Former Air Force standout Chad Hall, who signed with the Eagles in March, and former Army defensive back Caleb Campbell, who has been offered a contract by the Lions, are currently going through the process of being released from active duty and transitioning to the reserves.
Garland, a Colorado native, hopes to be stationed near Denver in order to workout and practice with the Broncos, according to The (Colorado Springs) Gazette.
So far Garland is the only senior from one of the service academies to sign with an NFL team since last week’s draft. No service academy players were selected in the draft.