With a blessing from the Navy, Keenan Reynolds will now be able to play in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. This means the running back will be able to join the team once the 2016 season rolls in.
Before officially becoming a professional athlete, Reynolds spent four seasons playing for the Navy Midshipmen. He immediately joined the team after graduating high school and receiving offers from the Navy, Wofford and Air Force.
Then, earlier this year, Reynolds got his big break after he was drafted by the Ravens as the 182nd overall pick during the sixth round. However, things between the Ravens and Reynolds got a bit sketchy since he still had to finish his service with the Navy.
But, around two weeks ago, Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, sent a letter to the Department of Defense to request the agency to give Reynolds to clearance to play for the NFL. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter responded to the request and allowed the young athlete to play for the Ravens.
"It is a blessing to hear the news from Defense Secretary Carter today," Reynolds said on Friday during his graduation speech according to The Washington Post. "I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability to fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL."
"I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity," he added. "I would also like to thank [team owner Steve] Bisciotti and the Ravens organization for believing in me and giving me this chance."
During his stint at the NCAA with the Navy Midshipmen, he led the league with a career-high of 88 touchdowns and 31 TD Passes. All in all, he had 4,559 rushing yards by a quarterback and score a total of 530 points.
Due to his impressive career as a college footballer, the Navy announced in February of this year, he would be the last player to wear the No. 19 jersey. Because of this, he has joined the ranks of other remarkable Navy athletes who got their numbers retired such as Napleon McCallum, Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach.