Pentagon: Academy athletes must serve before going pro

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

"As released earlier today, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has rescinded the policy to allow cadet-athletes to apply for Ready Reserve status immediately after graduation to participate in professional activities/sports", the Air Force Academy said in the statement Monday.

Robinette, who led the country with 27.4 yards per catch in 2016, had prepared for the draft believing he'd be allowed to play in the National Football League right away because of a Defense Department decision last summer.

"The Air Force notified Academy officials (Thursday) that the service would not approve requests to waiver active duty military service commitments for cadet athletes". "The Air Force Academy released a statement from the Air Force prior to the NFL draft so NFL teams would be aware that the service would no longer support these requests and they could conduct their business in good faith, as Air Force Academy cadet Jalen Robinette was the lone NFL Draft prospect from any of the academies".

Obviously, however, many Mountain West fans would've hoped to see how Robinette's and Steelhammer's skill sets translated to the next level sooner rather than later.

This change also affects Air Force pitcher Griffin Jax, a third-round pick by the Minnesota Twins last summer. Reynolds is now on the Ravens' practice squad as a wide receiver. He maintained a full class load while commuting 100 miles six days a week to train with other hopefuls in suburban Denver included Stanford's Christian McCaffrey.

After his daily workouts, Robinette would return to the academy to finish out his school day. "Kind of a cadet day over in Tampa and Mobile, too". He led the nation with 27.4 yards per catch last season, needing only 35 receptions to amass 959 receiving yards. He was elevated to the active roster for the season finale in January but didn't play in the game. Therefore, upon graduation, officers will serve as military officers for their minimum commitment of two years. The New Orleans Saints placed tight end Garrett Graham (Air Force) on its practice squad and the New York Jets signed fullback Chris Swain (Navy) to its active roster.

"I know [Garland's] story, of course", Robinette said last month. And if I wasn't doing this, I'd probably regret it looking back. "I definitely didn't think it would go down the way it did". Whatever my assignment is, whatever I need to do, I'm going to go do it until I hear otherwise and I'm told that I can go play.

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