Tom Hruby has already survived one incredible challenge: making it through Navy SEALs training. Now he’s trying to do something else that might be just as difficult: walk onto a Big Ten football team at age 32.
The Chicago Sun-Times shares the story of Hruby, who is married with three children, and his pursuit of making Northwestern’s football team.
Hruby is a defensive end and appears to be undersized at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. He played football at Andrean High School in Merrillville Indiana and did not miss a snap his senior year, he told The Sun-Times.
Hruby began training for the Navy SEALs in his 20s and eventually completed the rigorous program. Though most of his career in the SEALs is classified, he did share that he has spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He is still an active SEAL and works as an instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois.
Hruby told the Sun-Times he always aspired to study at Northwestern. After preparing for the SAT and completing classes at a junior college, he applied to Northwestern and was accepted last summer. The only problem is that he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because some of his classes did not count as credit. The good news is that leaves him with three years of eligibility.
Hruby hopes to receive consistent playing time on special teams and has been training with the team throughout the summer. He even saved up all his leave so he could participate in the team’s training camp this month.
Why is Hruby going through all this? We’re talking 14-hour days, 6:00 a.m. weight lifting sessions, classes, working and weeks away from his family, all just to try making the squad.
His Navy SEAL Team chief David Goggins told the Sun-Times.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s just what’s the next challenge?” Goggins explained. “Without a challenge in front of guys like Tom, what’s the point of living?”
Here is a picture of Hruby with Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald last year:
We’re pulling for him. This would be awesome.