CHARLESTON — Two student-athletes that are both recipients of the Armed Forces Merit Award are the first two participants announced for the 2nd Annual Medal of Honor Bowl.
Daniel Rodriguez of Clemson University and Nate Boyer from the University of Texas have confirmed they will participate in the game that will be played on January 10, 2015 at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium.
Rodriguez is a wide receiver from Stafford, Va., and a decorated war hero who served approximately 18 months in Iraq and one year in Afghanistan. He served in the Army from 2006-10, and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was involved in the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, when 300 Taliban insurgents battled with 38 U.S. troops. Eight Americans lost their lives and 22 were injured, including Rodriguez, in one of the most violent battles in the war.
For his heroics, Rodriguez earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device.
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Boyer, from Dublin, Calif., served in the Green Berets Special Forces unit before coming to Longhorns and continues to serve in the Texas National Guard during the summers. He was named to the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes. A 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-American and a nominee in 2014, Boyer is a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 choice (2012-14) and a two-time semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (2013-14).
Named the 2012-13 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year, Boyer, in 2012, became the first-ever recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award that was presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also selected as the recipient of the 2012 Disney Spirit Award, given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspirational figure. Boyer, who participated in relief work in the Darfur region of Africa prior to his time in the military, is a nine-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
The Medal of Honor Bowl, which will be televised live nationally by the NBC Sports Network, is a premier all-star game the features the nation’s top draft-eligible college football players as projected for the NFL Draft. The game honors the Medal of Honor recipients and the game’s beneficiaries, the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, disabled veterans and wounded warriors.
Tickets, which range from $15-$40, may be secured at the Medal of Honor Bowl Game’s dedicated website www.MOHbowl.com. They will also be available at The Citadel Athletic Ticket Office at 843/953-DOGS (3647).