Joe Cardona is a patriot in more ways than one. The long snapper became one of the highest drafted at his position in NFL history when the New England Patriots selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but Cardona also serves in the military. The Naval Academy graduate is a current lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves, and stays ready for action off the field.
“I never expected to get an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Cardona told CBS Sports this week. “I grew up in San Diego, I grew up around the Navy and the Marine corps, so for me, having the opportunity when I got recruited to play football at the Naval Academy was a dream come true.”
Cardona’s willingness to stay prepared has greatly benefitted him throughout his life. The California native put his mind to service, but also hoped for a professional football career even though it would take the stars aligning for him to live his NFL dream.