Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has officially agreed to allow Naval Academy star Keenan Reynolds to play for the NFL in the 2016 season.
In an interview with the Dan Patrick Show, Mabus said Reynolds would be allowed to play for the Baltimore Ravens but that he would still have to fulfill his service requirements in the Naval Reserves.
“Keenan Reynolds is one of the finest people that I know,” Secretary Mabus said. “He is just a sterling individual. If I’m an NFL coach or GM, he’s the kind of person I want in my locker room.”
“When we have guys coming out of the Naval Academy who go on and play professional sports, or go on and do other things that are high profile, it gives us a chance to show who we are and show the type of people that we attract and recruit,” the Navy chief added. “I can’t think of a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.”
In a statement announcing his decision, Mabus said, “Commissioning and appointment in the Ready Reserve is the best option for Midshipman Reynolds… due to the time and commitment required for the unique opportunity of playing in the National Football League.”
Reynolds was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round, even though the team wasn’t 100 percent sure the Navy would allow him to play this coming season.
“Naturally, we were hoping this would be the outcome,” Reynolds’ agent Che Mock said. “We are thrilled to hear the news and very glad the Secretary of the Navy is recognizing there is an opportunity to still serve while having this platform to play in the NFL and promote the Navy.”
With 88 TDs, Reynolds broke a Football Bowl Subdivision record for career touchdowns. He also hit a record for rushing yards for a quarterback (at 4,559 yards). The Navy standout hopes to transition to wide receiver for the Ravens
In the same statement Secretary Mabus also noted that he approved Patriots player Joe Cardona’s request to continue in the NFL.
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