Former Army star signs with the Colts

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Former Army defensive end/linebacker Josh McNary has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, according to multiple reports and his own Twitter account.

McNary has been out of football since being commissioned as an officer in 2011. Before graduating from West Point, he set the school’s all-time sack record and helped lead Army to it’s first winning season in 15 years in 2010. In the final game of that season he scored the touchdown seen above in Army’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl victory over SMU — the first postseason win for the school since the 1980s.

According to college football guru Frank Schwab, McNary was one of a handful of former service academy stars who put their skills on display for scouts earlier this week a combine at Cowboys Stadium.

DoD policy allows officers to apply for early release from their active-duty commitment in order to play professional sports. Since 2010, five former service academy standouts have been permitted to pursue NFL careers:

  • Chad Hall (signed with Eagles in 2010; played for 49ers in 2012)
  • Caleb Campbell (signed with Lions in 2010; also played for Colts and Chiefs)
  • Eric Kettani (signed with Patriots in 2011; played for Redskins in 2012)
  • Ben Garland (signed with Broncos in 2012)
  • Collin Mooney (signed with Titans in 2012)

It’s been tough going for most of the troops, all of whom have spent the majority of their time on their teams’ practice squads. Preseason cuts and re-signings have been common; in fact, in the span of a week last preseason,  every single one was cut. West Point grad Caleb Campbell was out of the league last season and Hall was unemployed for most of last season before signing with the 49ers just in time for their Super Bowl run.