Former Fort Drum soldier Capt. Alejandro Villanueva has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad after being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
The signing was reported Sunday by ProFootballTalk.com.
While at Fort Drum, Villanueva served with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and deployed to Afghanistan with the unit. During the deployment, he earned a Bronze Star with Valor after reportedly helping fellow soldiers pinned under enemy fire.
He also served with the 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
The 6-foot-9, 277-pound defensive end played wide receiver, defensive lineman and left tackle at U.S. Military Academy, West Point, where he graduated in 2010.
Military rules implemented in 2008 state military academy graduates can apply for an early release to play professional sports after two years of active duty service. If granted, the service members are required to serve in the military reserves and pay back some of their education costs.
The ProFootballTalk report can be found at http://wdt.me/MPtEwM