This weekend, America met Alejandro Villanueva, when he replaced injured left Tackle Kelvin Beachum for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But Villanueva isn’t your normal NFL player. The 27 year old graduated from West Point after spending his 4 years playing Wide Receiver! (!!) Upon graduation he went into active duty and was awarded the Bronze Star.
When he returned home, the 6’7″ 277 pound man joined the Philadelphia Eagles to try and make it as a defensive lineman but was ultimately cut – but not before catching the eye of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin during the national anthem before a preseason matchup.
“There was a guy standing over there about a head taller than everybody else saluting during the anthem and it kind of got my attention. I wanted to know about this enormous human being over there saluting.”
The rest, is history. Villanueva signed with the Steelers who molded him into an offensive lineman. This last weekend, he put his talents on display for fans everywhere!
From Fox News Latino:
A former Army Ranger took his skills to the gridiron on Sunday when he got his first NFL start for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Alejandro Villanueva, who won a Bronze Star while serving Afghanistan, played offensive tackle in the Steelers’ 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, who broke a 5-game skid.
Villanueva took the place of left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in last week’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Would you like to see more vets in pro sports? Let us know what you think in the comments below!