Jul 4 2013, 10:19pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal writes Kettani, a Navy lieutenant who was signed by the New England Patriots in 2009 as an undrafted free agent, received some hate mail for his ambition of making it to the NFL. After spending two years in active service, Kettani joined the Patriots' practice squad before being recalled by the Navy who told him he had to return to service. He is currently trying out for an active roster spot with the Redskins.
"It's tough. You work so hard for something, and it's taken away. But that's what I signed up for, so I can't complain."
He then reached a compromise with the Navy which will have him work in public affairs for seven years in the reserves while trying to crack an NFL roster. Kettani reveals the hate mail was received in 2012 when he left active duty in an attempt to be a New England Patriot.
The mail said, "Go back to the military and what you signed up for."
"As a child, everybody has a dream and my dream was to play football. I'm taking advantage of that now."
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan lauds Kettani's drive to succeed.
"It's quite unusual to do what he's done. To have that type of drive [to do] what he does for the service [and] what he does on the football field keeps him pretty busy. He's got a chance to compete for a position."
Shanahan attended Kettani's pinning ceremony at Redskins Park on June 3 which saw him being promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The Washington coach also said a military officer of Kettani's resolve is an absolute good thing.
"To have a guy like that serve our country, you feel like you're in good hands."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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