Coleman is Army Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient

Army veteran, Purple Heart recipient and UCF football lineman Rory Coleman will lead the Knights in their adopted game-face ritual.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Just before the University of Central Florida football team takes the field this Saturday, defensive lineman Rory Coleman will lead the Knights in their adopted game-face ritual.

It’s a pregame routine that the walk-on has directed before each game this season. His background as a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient certainly made him the right man for the job.

When Coleman was in the Army, they would use the tactic – which includes a great deal of yelling and screaming – to get a little extra adrenaline into the system when the situation called for it. Now, he’s happy to hype up his new team every game day in the locker room as they prepare to take the field.

On Saturday, Coleman’s two worlds will combine when he suits up on Military Appreciation Day at Bright House Networks Stadium.

When the Orlando native was still in high school, playing college football was the only thing on his mind. After a few talks with his grandfather, William Coleman, a World War II prisoner of war who jumped on D-Day with the 101st Airborne, Coleman’s priorities shifted.

“He showed me that there’s more to life than playing the game,” Coleman said. “It’s okay to love the game, but I had to get a foundation as a human being first, as a man.”

Taking the talks to heart, Coleman was motivated to enlist in the Army. He enlisted in the delayed entry program in June 2009 and headed to basic training in October of that year. Having a football background came in handy for Coleman.

“Football kind of taught me

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