Missed this one while I was on vacation: Our lone service academy alum in the NFL last season, former Naval Academy fullback Kyle Eckel, has signed with the Denver Broncos. Terms of his deal have not been reported.
Eckel, a 2005 USNA grad, is the second former service academy player to sign with the Broncos this offseason. Recent Air Force Academy graduate Ben Garland, a defensive lineman, signed a free-agent deal with the team earlier this offseason.
The Broncos are the fifth different franchise Eckel has played for in his now five-year pro career. Last season Eckel won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints after signing with the team at midseason, then getting cut, then signing again near the end of the year.
Eckel’s top season statistically came in 2007, when rushed for 90 yards and scored two touchdowns for the New England Patriots.
Ballard to the NFL?
Adam Ballard, another standout fullback during his days at the Naval Academy, is looking into signing with a pro team, according to Marine Corps Times. Several sources have said that Ballard is in discussions with the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. Ballard admitted to the Times that he is talking to the NFL, but declined to say which teams.
A 2008 academy graduate, Ballard was administratively discharged from the Marine Corps on May 20 after him and 12 other second lieutenants were caught cheating on the land navigation course at The Basic School at Marine Corps Quantico, Va.
Ballard is still hoping to be reinstated into the Corps, according to Marine Corps Times. He has sent a letter to Juan Garcia, the assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs, admitting his error and saying the cheating is far more widespread at TBS than officials have acknowledged.