Former Alabama RB Graduates from U.S. Army Airborne School After Giving Up NFL Career

Former Alabama running back and NFL player Glen Coffee graduated on Friday from the U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning (Georgia) and hopes to become a part of the Special Forces.

Coffee gave up an NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers after one season in 2010 at the age of 23 because he felt there was more to life than football. He said his long-term goal was still to become a minister.

“I know my motivation and I know my focus,” Coffee told “I just felt like being in an elite unit would pretty much weed out anybody who didn't have the drive and focus that I believe I have. I feel like if I make it in (Special Forces), that guy to my left and my right is somebody I could depend on with my life and visa versa.”

Coffee said when he injured his knee in college in 2006, he wanted to join the military but decided against it to continue playing football.

“I've always considered myself a warrior, somebody who would fight for what he believed in,” Coffee said. “It hit me like, ‘What do you think the military does and what do you think the military is full of? Warriors. All of a sudden, I had this respect for the military and I just realized that there is no America without the men and women who serve this country."

Coffee enlisted in the Army on Feb. 4, and he now hopes to make the Special Forces in Fort Bragg (North Carolina).

“I expect it to be the hardest thing I've done in my life physically and mentally,” Coffee said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge.”


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