Air Force defensive end signs with Broncos

Air Force defensive end Ben Garland, right, had 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season. (Air Force photo)

Air Force defensive end Ben Garland, right, had 10.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last season. (Air Force photo)

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.


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  1. So let me get this right … an Air Force player signs with the Denver Broncos and the AF Times writes what amounts to a Local Interest piece with a positive spin to it. A month beforehand a Navy player signs with the Patriots and the Navy Times (published by the same company as this paper) writes a critical article and spins it as Athletes “Skip Service”. So why the different treatment? Really curious to know.

  2. I’m not really seeing how I gave this a “positive spin” (or a negative spin for that matter). And calling it a local interest piece is a bit of a stretch. It’s just a 184-word blog post relaying the news that this guy signed with the Broncos. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  3. Fair enough … I don’t have a problem with this article by itself, but I do have a problem with it in the context of how the Military Times presented THE SAME STORY with a Navy player substituted for an Air Force player. Why is one treated as a 184-word blog post and the other is presented as a front page expose’?

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