Army veteran pursues NFL dream with Colts - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Army veteran pursues NFL dream with Colts

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Josh McNary was a star at Army, but had to serve a two-year commitment. Josh McNary was a star at Army, but had to serve a two-year commitment.
McNary hasn't played football since the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl. McNary hasn't played football since the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl.

He's made the ultimate uniform change. From serving our nation to hopefully serving up quarterbacks on Sunday, Army Lt. Josh McNary's football journey has been incredible.

"I mean, I was never the favorite to be here or anything like that, pretty much walked onto the team at West Point, you know, kind of took the world by surprise," McNary said.

McNary was a star at West Point, leaving as Army's all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss. But the Armed Forces Bowl in 2011 was the last time he played organized football.

As a West Point graduate, McNary had to serve a two-year commitment to the Army after graduation. It was one of the reasons he wasn't drafted.

But McNary kept working out at Ft. Hood in Texas and the Colts kept paying attention, signing him in April.

"The anticipation's been building since April, since I've been signed and since the process on...kind of pushing me, or transferring me out of the Army active duty into the NFL has started, so it's been a long time coming," McNary said.

"Staying in shape, like he did being with the military, you know, he does that all the time, but just from the knowledge of football, I think over the years that he was with the military, you know, a lot of command, he was doing a lot of things and I think he's a good football player and we'll see what he can do when he gets out there," said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

The Colts want McNary's impact to go beyond football. Head Coach Chuck Pagano has already had him address the team.

"Coach pretty much hit on a few topics about the translatable qualities that the Army has that also can be used or applied on the football field," McNary said. "He acknowledged the fact and recognized the fact that this is a game and that's not really a game in the Army, but, I mean, it was a heck of a speech.

"It means a lot, but by in no way am I satisfied and I'd like to go out and see what I can do at this level," he said.

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