Ran into John Rabold outside the Air Force football locker room the other day.
Rabold, who will graduate in May, is one of several Air Force seniors hoping to continue his football career in the pros.
I think it’s safe to say Rabold has been working hard to make that happen.
The outside linebacker, who earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors last fall, looks much bigger after a few months of hitting the weights. Rabold, who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds last season, said he’s up to about 250. And it looks like all muscle.
According to Rabold, his agent has been getting calls from NFL teams. Most are wary of his military commitment, however, and that likely means he will go undrafted.
(Air Force grads are required to spend five years on active duty, though those who have the opportunity to land a job that will have public relations benefits for the Air Force – like playing in the NFL – can get an early release from active duty. Instead of their final three years of active duty, they’d serve six in the reserves.)
Rabold hopes if he does not get drafted a team will sign him as a free agent. He’d then use his 60 days of leave following graduation to participate in that team’s preseason camps. He’d then stay in shape while on active duty, use subsequent leave time to take part in other team camps and then hopefully make the team after two years of active duty service.
Sounds like a tall order, but Rabold seems like he is serious about making it happen. And from what I’ve heard, Rabold is the most intriguing of the Air Force seniors with pro aspirations (including inside linebacker Drew Fowler and receiver/running back/returner Chad Hall, among others) to NFL scouts.