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An Active Navy SEAL Just Joined Northwestern’s Football Team–What Did You Do Today?

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Being a college football player is pretty badass. Being a Navy SEAL is even more badass. What happens when a Navy SEAL becomes a college football player? You’re coming dangerously close to a never before seen echelon of unrivaled badassery.

Tom Hruby is a 32-year-old Navy SEAL instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station. He’s also a walk-on defensive end at Northwestern University in his spare time, because after deploying across the globe multiple times, being a college football player is nothing more than a walk in the park.


A walk-on in his 30s — at a prestigious private university, no less — is rare enough. Hruby also is married with three kids. But there’s even more:

Hruby is a Navy SEAL.

Hruby (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) is balancing football, rigorous coursework, married life and his duties as a SEAL instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station, which is about 30 miles north of Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Ill.

He told the Chicago Sun-Times the lessons he has learned since becoming a SEAL in 2006 help him handle everything.

“What’s the next step? How do we get out of here?” he said. “And you’ve just got to stick to those thoughts, stick to what’s important, stick to what you know and just kind of have an attitude.”

As if his accomplishments weren’t already impressive enough, he has been deployed multiple times as an explosives expert–and blowing shit up is cool.

While his missions are classified, Hruby said he has been in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. His role in the SEALs is that of a “breacher” — an expert in explosives and forced entry.

Hruby hopes to see some playing time on special teams this season, all while balancing a family, a military job, and schoolwork.

Kick some Big Ten ass, Tom.


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Bogey Wells

Bogey Wells is a Senior Freelance Writer for TFM News and a former summer pledge intern at TFMHQ. His Spotify playlists are pure garbage. Email:

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