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Posted: Wednesday August 1, 2012 6:17PM ; Updated: Wednesday August 1, 2012 6:17PM

Combat vet Rodriguez cleared to play for Clemson

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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Daniel Rodriguez is as proud of fulfilling a promise to a friend as he's been of his decorated military career.

Rodriguez has been cleared by the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference to join Clemson's football team. He spent four years in the U.S. Army, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star Medal of Valor for his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rodriguez took part in the Battle of Kamdesh in October 2009 that saw a force of 300 Taliban overwhelm the American outpost of fewer than 40 soldiers. Rodriguez saw friend Kevin Thompson die in the fighting. It was a few days earlier Thompson encouraged Rodriguez to chase his dream of playing college football.

Rodriguez will play receiver.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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