ATHENS — Jack Loonam never starred in Sanford Stadium.
Loonam, you may recall, he had the unique distinction of being on the Georgia football team simultaneously while going through the school’s ROTC program. On Friday, the former tight end was commissioned to be an officer by the U.S. Army. He and two other ROTC cadets were made 2nd Lieutenants in a brief ceremony at Sanford Stadium.
“When they asked me where I wanted to do it, there was really nowhere else that made sense but down at the stadium,” said Loonam, who grew up in Lexington, S.C., but lived briefly in Athens while his father attended UGA’s veterinary school.
Loonam’s football work with the Bulldogs came mainly in practices as a scout-team. He first dressed out with the team in the South Carolina game in 2011 and finally got to play last year against Charleston Southern on Military Appreciation Day.
But that’s OK. Loonam got what he really wanted on Friday.
“Coming in, I knew I wasn’t going to be an Aaron (Murray) or a Todd (Gurley),” Loonam told UGA’s John Frierson. “I was OK with that. … Those Army guys … treat me like I’m Aaron Murray.”
Loonam graduated from UGA in May with a degree in management. He’s not 100 percent sure yet where his military career will take him. He’ll find out on Sept. 9 if he’s going into active duty, the National Guard or reserves. He said he would like to be in the medical service corps as a medivac helicopter pilot.
“Something cool and worth it,” he said.