Earlier this month, the Ravens drafted Keenan Reynolds in the sixth round without knowing whether the former Naval Academy standout would be able to play in 2016.

Now, less than two weeks later, we have our answer.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Dan Patrick Show that Reynolds has been given permission to play in the NFL and that he'll fulfill his service requirements in the Navy Reserves.

"Keenan Reynolds is one of the finest people that I know," Mabus told Patrick last week. "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."

And it sounds like the decision to have Reynolds begin his football career now was an easy one.

"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," Mabus continued. "I can't think of a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds."

Reynolds was a fantastic college player, and finished his career with 88 rushing touchdowns and 4,559 rushing yards -- both records for an FBS quarterback. But he hopes to make the Ravens' roster as a wide receiver.

"It's different; it's something you've got to get used to," Reynolds said during the Ravens' rookie minicamp over the weekend, via the Washington Post. "Again it's a challenge, and I love challenges. I love overcoming challenges and just looking forward to learning with the team and continuing to grow as a receiver."

Keenan Reynolds hopes to make the Ravens' roster as a wide receiver. USATSI

Meanwhile, coach John Harbaugh sounded encouraged by what he saw.

"Keenan's doing a heck of job," he said. "It's definitely a transition. It's real. I think he said it. Guys have been doing this over and over again, rep after rep, thousands and thousands of reps under their belt. He's got maybe a couple dozen under his belt right now, but that being said he's doing really well. He's a natural athlete. He's got natural hands, which is a big plus. He can get in and out of routes. He's a guy who's still got a lot of work to do, but he has the ability to pull it off."

To prepare for his new role, Reynolds got in touch with another former college quarterback-turned-NFL wide receiver. There was just one tiny problem ...

"I had the opportunity to talk to Hines Ward," Reynolds said last week. "I know that's like a cardinal sin in this building. We got to talk before the draft, to ease anybody's mind. ... He gave me some tips and tricks and things to work on to perfect my craft."

Ward was Public Enemy No. 1 in Baltimore for years, but he could end up in the Hall of Fame one day too. And for as much as Ravens fans hated him, they would also love nothing more than having the next Hines Ward on their roster, haunting the Steelers for the next decade.