Originally written on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/12/12
The first months back were tough on Daniel Rodriguez. He carried memories of the carnage he had witnessed. He was sullen and withdrawn. He drank a lot. But the words came back to Rodriguez, a promise he made his friend while they were battling terror and the Taliban in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan in October 2009.Rodriguez had told Pfc. Kevin Thompson that he would pursue his dream of playing college football if he survived. Rodriguez made it back. Thompson didn't. The promise lives in the form of an orange uniform and unbridled enthusiasm that Rodriguez shows for his new team at Clemson, where he is a 24-year-old walk-on receiver and special teams player for the 11th-ranked Tigers (9-1). He's one of two FBS players with a Purple Heart, joining Idaho's Corey Sandberg. He may only be a walk-on, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told The New York Times, but he's a team leader to these 18- to 22-year-olds, some of whom have a sense of entitlement or want to feel sorry for...
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade, Heat reportedly progressing in contract talks

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Brandon Spikes sentenced to one year probation in crash

Report: Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins in multi-player deal

David Ortiz vehemently denies that his bat speed is declining

Report: Spurs sign Danny Green to deal, trade Tiago Splitter

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

Deciding what the All-Star Game really means

Being a Dallas Cowboys fan could cost Chris Christie votes

Winning and losing the strike zone game: Midseason update

Baltimore Orioles keep finding a way to win

Aldridge recruited to Lakers by Adam Levine, Snoop Dogg

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.