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Putting freedom above football

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 27, 2006 08:39 PM

The Baltimore Sun publishes a deeply inspiring story about a young college football player who puts service first. Wow:

There were signs. They were small signs, but they were there, and they suggested that Maryland guard Donnie Woods was serious about quitting football to defend his country.

An American flag hung from his locker, and he kept another in his room. Favorite movies? United 93 and World Trade Center. The hunter green camouflage Terps football hat he always wore. His criminal justice major.

Nobody, though – not even his parents – expected Woods to forgo his senior season of football to join the military or pursue a career in a police department with the hopes of eventually landing a job with the FBI or CIA.

“He sort of threw the idea out and we said, ‘Yeah, OK, sure Donnie, whatever,’ ” said his father, Don.

Said Terps center Edwin Williams: “He talked about it during the season, but nobody really listened to it.”

They’re listening now.

Woods, one of the Terps’ top offensive linemen, has contacted military recruiters, and the Montgomery County Police Department has contacted Woods. He will play the last football game of his college career Friday against Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. It was a decision he secretly made before the start of the season – while daydreaming one day in a summer class – and one he said he will not regret.

“I always wanted to serve my country,” said Woods, who will turn 23 on Jan. 27. “I think freedom is an amazing thing. I love what this country stands for. I want to give back for what we have. There’s no other high for me.”

Godspeed, Donnie Woods.

Via a Lucianne.com commenter, here’s Woods’ Terps page bio:

dwoods.jpg

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