first published on August 19, 2019 by Funker
A US Army lieutenant received a deferment of service waiver to play in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.
2LT Brett Toth graduated from West Point military academy where he played football as an offensive tackle for four years. He performed exceptionally and was selected for the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game, as well as making the 2017 Associated Press All-Bowl Team.
Toth signed a three year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and will likely play as a tackle or guard. It’s possible that he will spend his first season on the practice squad, considering he has taken nearly a year and a half off.
Since graduating West Point, 2LT Toth has focused on his military career. He attended Basic Officers Leadership Course and became a basic training platoon leader at Fort Leonard Wood. He is an engineer officer.
“I was adamant about worrying about my military obligations first as well as what my duty title was,” Toth said according to a Task & Purpose article. “I told my battalion commander, my company commander that, first and foremost, I was there to complete my duty. That was going to be my first priority.”
Toth is a big boy, weighing in at 290 pounds and standing 6 foot 6. He plans to get to 315 pounds as quick as he can.
Toth is only now allowed to play in the NFL thanks to a new Trump Administration rule that went into effect back in June. Prior to the rule change, service members had to complete at least two years of active duty service before receiving a deferment waiver to follow a professional career.
“First and foremost, it couldn’t have been done without President Trump making the initiative to send athletes to professional sports,” Toth said Sunday before his first practice with the team. “It’s going to be a huge advertising tool for the Army.”