Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval


by - Senior Writer -
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Daniel Rodriguez thinks he has found a home.

Rodriguez is the decorated war veteran that wants to follow his dream of playing college football, a 23-year old who has given not only time but blood in the service of his country. Once he was discharged from the Army, he decided he wanted to chase that dream again, and a video that he created was seen by Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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, who wants to give Rodriguez a chance to walk on to the Clemson football team.

As a result of his contact with Swinney, Rodriguez made the trip to Clemson for an official visit of sorts, and he says he now knows that Clemson has put its mark on his heart.

“I love it. The atmosphere is great, the campus is beautiful and the people are friendly,” Rodriguez said after watching practice Wednesday. “I toured the campus, saw the workout facilities and Coach Dabo is just an awesome guy. He let me sit in on the meetings and things like that. I hope everything works out because I want to play here.”

The only holdup at this point is compliance. As a non-qualifier coming out of high school, Rodriguez would have to complete an Associate’s degree in order to qualify under NCAA guidelines. He met with Clemson’s compliance office on Wednesday to see what could be worked out.

“I talked to compliance and we submitted all of the paperwork,” he said. “She is going to submit it here shortly and we will see what happens. I hope it all works out. But, since I have completed enough semesters, my GPA is high enough, I am so far removed from high school and my prior service, those all go into it. That is what we are trying to figure out. The worst case scenario is I finish my Associate’s and transfer in later.”

That is something he doesn’t want to think about, however.

“I want to be a Clemson Tiger. I love it here,” he said. “Every coach came up to me, shook my hand, the players came up and introduced themselves to me. There is a family bond here, you can tell. It is something I want to be a part of. But the NCAA has a lot of red tape and I have to get that settled first. I just want to come play football, though. That is the bottom line.”

Rodriguez said he and Swinney shared a certain bond almost from the start.

“He wants me on the team because of my story and my dedication and how I am following my dream,” Rodriguez said. “We come from similar backgrounds, and we talked about how he walked on at Alabama. We see eye to eye on that. I just want to give 100 percent and come out here and bust my butt for him.”

He said he also took time to stop by the Scroll of Honor and learn a little more about Clemson’s military history.


“I learned more about that today,” he said. “Since everything went on TigerNet, I have been receiving phone calls and emails from Clemson fans and from people who are telling me how proud they are of me and for my service. I have heard a lot from the fan base, and they have been unreal. I love it.”

He said he also wanted to make sure that everyone knew that Virginia Tech – his original school of choice –was no longer in the picture.

“Tech started off good. The media pushed it and we talked,” he said. “I sent in my application and they sent some brief words to me that basically said for me to get my Associate’s first. That was about it. I told them that I was hearing from others, and they turned a cold shoulder to me. But that doesn’t matter. I feel like I am wanted here. I feel like I already have a home.”





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Subject (Replies: 23) Author
Front Page Story: Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval
B-Meist®
I think this is bigger than any recruit
Yzracer48
Agree. Make one #### of a captain***
colemanfan
Re: Front Page Story: Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval
clover65®
The NCAA doesn't regulate who gets a scholarship
IPTAY FAMILY
Re: Front Page Story: Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Front Page Story: Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval
greer1®
This is the underdog story that defines Clemson football...
iTiger
get'er done CU. already my favorite tiger.***
firebarker
Re: Front Page Story: Rodriguez finds his home, waits for approval
Rudlinda
Is there any doubt that a Bronze Star can exceed a
solafide_tiger®
This is Awesome!!! The NCAA better not screw this up.
Yiggy®
OH Yeah, second order of business....Thanks VaTech....
Yiggy®
Re: OH Yeah, second order of business....Thanks VaTech....
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: OH Yeah, second order of business....Thanks VaTech....
mfhokie
i agree. that was a lil much lol***
ArmyRanger28®
I agree 100%....There will be a lot of veterans like myself
hartins®
Re: I agree 100%....There will be a lot of veterans like myself
CUalum79ALLn65®
Re: This is Awesome!!! The NCAA better not screw this up.
CUalum79ALLn65®
sounds like he found that there is something in those hills!***
sav82tiger
Does anyone have any idea how long the NCAA
dpress1
He might be here by fall camp '13. ncaa is ridiculous***
ArmyRanger28®
Clemson had better make this happen
camcgee®
Great story. God bless him. Let the man play!***
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