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Ali Villanueva retires from NFL

Photo provided by Baltimore Ravens

Ali Villanueva, Army’s most accomplished NFL player, has decided to retire after seven seasons.

The Ravens announced Villanueva was placed on the reserve/retirement list Wednesday after one season in Baltimore.

Villanueva, a decorated Army ranger, made the Pro Bowl twice in six years with the Steelers. The 33-year-old never missed a game due to injury in his career, starting 107 games. Villanueva served three deployments to Afghanistan before the Eagles signed him as a free agent in 2014.

Villanueva’s retirement leaves four former Army football players in the NFL – Chargers linebacker Cole Christiansen, Seahawks linebacker Jon Rhattigan, Jets safety Elijah Riley and Eagles offensive lineman Brett Toth.

Villanueva started his Army career as a defensive lineman. He was moved to tackle his junior season and started every game. Villanueva switched to wide receiver his senior year and lead the team in receiving.

Here’s the Black Knight Nation podcast with Ali from December 2021:



  1. Don

    March 9, 2022 at 10:22 PM

    A remarkable young man. Extremely coachable, extremely intelligent, extremely dedicated to his craft in two different uniforms.

  2. Jdj

    March 10, 2022 at 8:46 AM

    Great example to Warriors everywhere. Thanks for all the great years watching you play. Rangers Lead the Way. RLTW Duty Honor Country

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