When we last mentioned former Air Force linebacker Ryan Watson, it was two years ago, when he was working out for the Cardinals but unable to sign with them because of his military commitment. That commitment is now done.
Watson will officially finish his required two years of active duty this week and will work out for the Falcons on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The military has changed the policies over the years about how long players from Army, Navy and Air Force must serve in active duty before they can play pro sports. Some players have been allowed to go straight from college to the pros. Others have been required to serve active duty for as long as five years before playing professionally. For Watson, it was two years.
Last month Watson worked out at Air Force’s Pro Day and told the Colorado Springs Gazette he’s confident he’ll get an NFL offer.
“I feel like I have a good chance to go make it in the NFL,” Watson said. “You know, my agent is confident. Some teams have reached out during my two-year hiatus, I guess you could call it. I think I’ve done a good job in shape and staying football savvy, as some might say. It will be a good chance to show them I’m in shape, still committed to it, and then from there just pick up where I left off.”
It will not be easy for Watson to come back from two years off the field and make it in the NFL. But he was a good enough player in college that he likely will get the chance to show he can do it.