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Eagles Sign Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva

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PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 12: Wide receiver Alejandro Villanueva #82 of the Army Black Knights fumbles the ball while getting tackled by linebacker Ram Vela #34 the Navy Midshipmen on December 12, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Navy won 17-3. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA – DECEMBER 12: Wide receiver Alejandro Villanueva #82 of the Army Black Knights fumbles the ball while getting tackled by linebacker Ram Vela #34 the Navy Midshipmen on December 12, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Navy won 17-3. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Army ranger Alejandro Villanueva to a rookie free agent contract.

The 6-foot-9, 277-pound defensive lineman spent the last four years as an active member of the U.S. Army. He served three tours in Afghanistan and last played football as a wide receiver at Army in 2009.

The Eagles scouted Villanueva at a super regional combine in Detroit last month and signed him Monday.

Villanueva was recently promoted to captain. The 25-year-old has earned many honors for his service, including the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, among others.

Villanueva began his career playing the defensive line, moved to left tackle and finished at wideout his senior year. He grew up in Spain and didn’t play football until his family moved to Belgium.

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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