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Active Navy SEAL trying to make Northwestern's team as walk-on

Active Navy SEAL trying to make Northwestern's team as walk-on

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Here's a story to root for as the 2014 college football season draws ever closer.

Tom Hruby is a walk-on at Northwestern trying to make the team. Now, ordinarily, a walk-on making a college football team wouldn't be a very big deal. It happens all over the country every season, and sometimes those walk-ons perform well enough to earn a scholarship. But Hruby isn't your typical walk-on.

He's a student at Northwestern, but he also happens to be 32-years old and is married with three kids. Oh, and he's also a Navy SEAL. An active Navy SEAL. So why does he want to play football for Northwestern? For the challenge.

“I don't feel like where I'm at today is some outstanding or amazing thing,” Hruby told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It's just more of a challenging route . . . the way I kind of think about finding and accepting and trying to take on these challenges that most people would probably say are impossible, one, or very unlikely or just plain dumb.”

Hruby joined the Navy SEALS in 2006, and currently serves as an instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station, which is north of Evanston. While his missions remain classified, he told the Sun-Times he's spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, doing work as a breacher. A breacher is an expert in explosives and forced entry.

He says he hopes to spend some time on special teams with the Wildcats, where he can blow up some return units if given the chance.

I hope he gets it.

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