U.S. Army sergeant Daniel Rodriguez was under attack constantly at a remote outpost in Afghanistan.
On October 3, 2009, he was injured in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Eight of his fellow soldiers were killed, including his best friend, Kevin Thomson.
He almost lost himself to alcohol. but now, he's the comeback kid.
“I made a promise to my best friend that was killed that I was going to play football,” says Rodriguez, “and just committed myself to eating right, working out, and quit drinking”.
Last December Rodriguez posted a highlight video on Youtube. It went viral and got the attention of Clemson head football coach, Dabo Swinney.
“I really was just mesmerized because I had never really seen a video put together like that,” said Swinney.
Despite not having played football since high school, this 24-year-old, at 5-foot-6, and 175 lbs, walked on and made Clemson's football team.
“I didn't die that day on October 3 because I was meant to do more with my life. And now I have my buddies in the grave pushing me to be the best that I can be,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is a starter on special teams and is trying to break in as a wide receiver.
“To see him fulfill a dream. I mean here's a guy that two years ago he's sitting in who knows where with bullets flying at him, watching his best friend, watching others die,” Swinney said.
Daniel Rodriguez may now be a world away from Afghanistan but he's still inspiring his new band of brothers.