This Running Back-Turned-Soldier Is Trying To Return To Football

news
AP Photo/Kevin Terrel

After four years as a U.S. soldier, and seven years away from the NFL, Glen Coffee is trying to return to football, the NFL Network reports.


Coffee played briefly for the San Francisco 49ers as a running back after being drafted in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft from the University of Alabama.

In his lone season as a pro football player, Coffee put up decent numbers as a backup. He ran for 226 yards on 83 carries, and added 76 receiving yards over 11 receptions. He found the end zone once.

But after that season, Coffee unexpectedly retired. He would later say he fell out of love with football.

In 2015, the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe stumbled upon Coffee when Lamothe was covering the first group of women to attend the Army’s elite Ranger school. Lamothe reported that Coffee had planned on joining Special Forces, but wound up assigned as a paratrooper at Ranger School. He now works for 6th Ranger Training Battalion in the waterborne operations section, according to Lamothe. 

“I just felt like the league and that path wasn’t for me,” Coffee told Lamothe. “I just knew that I didn’t want to waste, for me, my younger years doing something that I didn’t want to do. That was kind of my viewpoint on the situation.”

But now, out of the Army, Coffee wants to see if he can play football again. After he came out of retirement on April 21, the 49ers promptly waived their rights to his contract, making the soon-to-be 30-year-old a free agent. With a running back-rich NFL draft fast approaching on April 30, it remains to be seen how much interest Coffee will garner on the free-agent market.

One advantage he may have? Coffee told Lamothe that the Army put him in better shape than football ever did.

“My cardio and endurance is definitely a lot better right now,” he said. “Because in football, you’re not really in shape. People think you’re in shape, but you’re really not. Not like that.”

CORRECTION: This article incorrectly referred to Coffee as a Ranger in the headline. He works for 6th Ranger Training Battalion in the waterborne operations section, but is not a Ranger himself. (Updated: 4/24/2017; 5:54 pm)

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was a lance corporal in the Marines and received awards for service in Afghanistan. (Michigan ACLU)

KENT COUNTY, MI – The ACLU is demanding an investigation after a Grand Rapids-born U.S Marine combat veteran was held for possible deportation.

Read More Show Less

Ronald Reagan's dream of space-based lasers shielding the United States from ICBMs will not come to fruition in the near future, despite the Trump administration's focus on space.

Read More Show Less

The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.

Read More Show Less

Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's claim that "ISIS has been defeated" in Syria on Wednesday just hours after several U.S. service members were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manbij, Syria.

Read More Show Less