Former Navy QB Keenan Reynolds is switching positions for the Ravens.(Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP) This is a Memorial Day weekend Keenan Reynolds will never...

Department of Defense allows Navy's Keenan Reynolds to play for Ravens in 2016

Former Navy QB Keenan Reynolds is switching positions for the Ravens.(Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)

This is a Memorial Day weekend Keenan Reynolds will never forget.

On Friday, the same day he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, the Baltimore Ravens rookie also learned the Department of Defense will allow him to defer his military service and play in the NFL this season.

“I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity.

“I would also like to thank Mr. (Steve) Bisciotti and the Ravens organization for believing in me and giving me this chance.”

Department of Defense allows Navy's Keenan Reynolds to play for Ravens in 2016

Navy fullback Chris Swain, who signed with the San Diego Chargers, has also been cleared to play in 2016.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made the announcement during his graduation speech to the Navy Class of 2016.

Reynolds, a record-setting quarterback, was drafted in the sixth round last month. The Ravens’ Owings Mills, Md., training facility is roughly 45 minutes from the Naval Academy campus in Annapolis.

After starring in Navy’s triple-option scheme, Reynolds is converting to slot receiver. The 5-11, 205-pounder will also return kicks.

“I’ve always been a person of self-confidence in my abilities,” Reynolds, the only Navy quarterback to go 4-0 against Army, told USA TODAY Sports in February.

He has maintained all along that he plans to fulfill his military obligation, which is a minimum of five years for service academy graduates.

“Service is my priority,” he said. “Service is why I came to the Naval Academy.”

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