Although there were a wide range of doubters and naysayers criticizing the value and benefit of holding the IFAF World Championships this year, Trent Steelman was not one of them. In fact, he is one person who would say the timing of the tournament was impeccable.
After earning the award as the MVP of the entire tournament playing for Team USA and winning the gold medal representing his country, he received another accolade yesterday as the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens signed him to their 90 man training camp roster.
Steelman went through a workout with the Ravens Tuesday and after leaving the facilities Wednesday was receiving calls from other NFL clubs including the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. But the Ravens called him back and he will be on the practice field this weekend.
The 6 foot 207 pound Steelman has been turning heads ever since he started playing football at the age of 7. An all star high school quarterback at Bowling Green High School (Kentucky), he went on to a terrific career playing quarterback for Army. He was the only Army player to ever rush and pass for 2,000 yards. He collected a bevy of awards including the Black Lion Award and had the distinction of starring in the East-West Shrine Game.
Baltimore had originally intended to sign him when he came out of Army in 2013 but the Corps informed him that he had a two-year active-duty commitment to the Army before he would be allowed to entertain any professional offers.
The Army’s Alternative Service Option directs that personnel must have served on active duty for at least 24 months of their five-year commitment before being eligible to petition for release from active duty to pursue professional sports.
The jump from the U.S. National Team to the NFL is not unprecedented. Richie Brockel, a tight end on the 2011 U.S. squad that won the gold medal in Austria that year, earned a tryout with the Carolina Panthers and made the roster.
After playing quarterback at Army , Steelman switched positions to wide receiver and during his two-year stint away from the game he continued to hone his skills eventually catching the eye of Team USA head coach Dan Hawkins:
“I am very excited for Trent, He really came on as a wide receiver for Team USA. His skills developed each day tremendously. He is also a tenacious special teams player who can contribute on return and cover teams.”
Needless to say, Steelman will now have a huge international audience tracking his career in the NFL. He has given hope to so many other athletes in the USA and around the world through his dedication and hard work.