An active duty Army soldier who has given the past decade of his life to serving his country has been living out his dream of becoming a college football player at the age of 33, ESPN reported.
Joshua Griffin earned a spot on the Colorado State University football team this season through a walk-on tryout, becoming a leader in the locker room and proving to himself that he can compete in major college football even at his age — 12 years older than most seniors in the country.
"When he talks, the kids listen because he has real-life experience," CSU head coach Mike Bobo said. "He's been in battle. That's hard to imagine. I'm coaching football when I was 32 years old. He's 22-30 and he's fighting for our country. It's just an amazing story."
Griffin played football in high school and then joined the Army. He has been deployed overseas five times, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of his deployments are classified. He has served with the 10th Special Forces Group and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
He doesn't (and sometimes can't) talk publicly about his military experience, but he shares enough with his teammates to help motivate them and earn their respect. He was named to the team's nine-man leadership council, a reflection of how highly the coaches value his leadership.
After this season, even though he's only a junior in terms of NCAA eligibility, Griffin is ending his football career. He's proven to himself that he can compete, and now he's ready to graduate and return to focus on serving the nation in the military.
"If there's anything I want to come out of this, it's that, to stop placing your limitations on others," Griffin said. "Don't let others put their limitations on you."