By Justin Adams

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– As Denver Broncos open training camp, most of the fans will have their attention on who will be the starting quarterback, but one player is hoping he makes the team to protect the quarterback.

Broncos’ undrafted rookie guard Nolan Laufenberg will be participating in his first training camp, and this almost didn’t happen. Laufenberg is an Air Force Falcons graduate, and he was able to delay his military service commitment in hopes of playing in the National Football League.

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In June, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie cornerback Cameron Kinley had his request to play in the NFL rejected, only for former captain of the US Navy football team to have it reversed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“Today, I have approved a plan by the Department of the Navy that will permit former Naval Academy midshipman Cameron Kinley to play professional football in the NFL,” Austin said in a statement.

Since Laufenberg graduated from the U.S. Air Force, he is required to serve as a commissioned officer in the Air Force for at least eight years after graduation. Five of those years must be in active duty and the remainder would be served as inactive reserve. He will be enlisted in the Inactive Ready Reserve for the duration of his football career.

Laufenberg will now battle for an NFL roster spot fellow Air Force grads George Silvanic, who’s with the Los Angeles Rams; Parker Ferguson, who signed with the New York Jets, Army graduate Jon Rhattigan, who’s with the Seattle Seahawks, and Navy graduate Cameron Kinley, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Laufenberg hopes to join former Air Force alum Ben Garland who played on the offensive line in 2012 and 2014.

Justin Adams