Denver Broncos' Newest (Old) Defensive Tackle: Air Force Serviceman Ben Garland

Jason Muckley@@jamuckleySenior Analyst IIApril 23, 2012

ENGLEWOOD, CO - CIRCA 2010: In this photo provided by the NFL, Ben Garland of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Two years ago, Ben Garland was one of the most disruptive and productive players for Air Force in 2010.

When Tim Tebow was still in town as a rookie, it was Garland who consistently challenged him as the wind sprint leader in post-practice workouts. Garland has an incredible work ethic and, after an early release from the Air Force, has rejoined the Denver Broncos.

Adding a disruptive force in the middle couldn’t come at a better time for Denver. Defensive tackle has been the position on the Broncos that most observers feel is the weakest link. It has been routinely pointed to as being an area of huge concern in this season’s upcoming NFL draft.

Garland received a release after serving two years in the Air Force (three years early) under a program that allows servicemen to terminate their commitment after that period for a career that would benefit the Air Force in recruiting or public affairs.

Garland notched 115 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 39 games at the Air Force Academy.

Garland is a high-character guy, something the Broncos have always coveted from prospects. One concern, however, is the fact that he has been out of football for more than two years.

I am sure he has stayed in shape in the Air Force, however, and his outstanding work ethic will probably help him to quickly pick up where he left off, but he faces an uphill battle to contribute on the team and make the roster.

He appears very committed to doing everything possible to securing that spot. The Broncos website, reveals a summary of his recent workouts since arriving at Dove Valley:

Ben Garland finished his sprints and headed directly into the weight room for a lift. An hour and a half later, he emerged from his workout and walked into a meeting room for film study. After grabbing a quick lunch, he went back into meetings and more classroom work – a productive day for someone who was on vacation from work.

The article also indicated that Garland never took a single day of vacation in order to participate in the Broncos' voluntary workouts this spring and summer, building up months of vacation time. Now that’s dedication!

As I look forward to the start of training camp in a few months, you know I will be rooting for him to make it with the Broncos!