Meet The Badass Who Gave Up A Chance At SEC Football And The NFL To Serve Our Country

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Andrew Wood is entering his freshman football year. The 6’4 offensive lineman weighs in at 300 pounds. For an 18-year-old, that’s the kind size that can lead you to a successful career playing on Saturdays for a big-time college football program and potentially lead to a career in the NFL. Andrew Wood, however, decided to take a different path.

Coming out of high school in Tennessee, Wood was a 3-star offensive guard who held offers from Mississippi State, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Purdue, and California among others. One offer stood out above the rest, though, mainly due to his career aspirations. That offer was from the United States Naval Academy. See, Wood has always dreamt of becoming a pilot. Instead of joining Dan Mullen and co. in Starkville with the potential to become an NFL offensive lineman, he will help anchor Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack on the offensive line for four years before taking the next step to becoming a pilot.

From Bleacher Report:

He plans to lose approximately 60 pounds following his final college football snap, targeting weight requirements to become a naval aviator.

It wasn’t an easy decision for him or his family. After mulling over his options, Wood decided that the Navy would give him the best chance to accomplish more in life than the NFL would. With that in mind, Andrew is taking the path that his older brother, Kyle, took. Kyle is now entering his fourth year at the Coast Guard Academy where he plays baseball and football. His grandfather also served time during the Korean War, so the idea of serving this great country has been instilled in him.

“My family loves America, and we definitely have patriotic feelings. That doesn’t mean any of us had to serve, but that’s just what my brother and I were motivated to do,” Kyle said.

While Andrew admitted that there will be days when he wishes he joined the SEC, he will never regret the choice to go Navy and do something that he has always wanted to do, even if it means sacrificing a normal college experience.

“It’s important to have pride in your homeland and be willing to sacrifice things for the greater good,” he said. “For me, that just means sacrificing the ‘normal’ college experience and growing up a little faster for something I’ve always wanted.”

Here’s to hoping he has four years of success on the Navy football team, and even more success as a pilot.

[via Bleacher Report]

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