Army football fans in search of an uplifting story from this weekend may have to shift focus a bit farther south than West Point.
We’ve written about former Army Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez’s inspiring journey from the Afghanistan battlefield to the Clemson gridiron, but his story made the national spotlight over the weekend, airing on the “CBS Evening News.” Rodriguez talks about losing his best friend in battle, dealing with alcohol abuse after leaving the military and his quest to play big-time college football as a 5-foot-8, 175-pounder in his mid-20s.
Last week, before his Clemson Tigers moved to 4-1 with a win over Boston College, Rodriguez was nominated for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award; now in its seventh season, the award honors players for overcoming off-field obstacles. Nominees are chosen by the Orange Bowl and the Football Writers Association of America, with the winner being presented the award at the bowl game in January.
He’s the first nominee. The rest have their work cut out.