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Navy long snapper Joe Cardona playing in today's Senior Bowl

MOBILE, ALA. — Navy long snapper Joe Cardona is making his bid for a shot in the NFL by playing in today's Senior Bowl all-star game for the North squad.

He's the third player in school history to play in this game, joining former Navy fullback Eric Kettani in 2008 and Napoleon McCallum in 1986.

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A four-year starter, Cardona has excellent velocity on his snaps. They've been clocked as fast as 41 miles per hour.

"This is a great opportunity to come to the Senior Bowl," Cardona said. "I've got big shoes to fill, but this is a huge honor and I plan on making the most of this week."

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What's next for Cardona isn't the NFL. At least not right now. He's set to graduate in May with a degree in economics and be commissioned as a Marine as a logistics officer.

Ideally, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound specialist would like to pursue an NFL career.

Cardona can be signed to an NFL contract and be placed on a military reserve list. If that were to happen, Cardona could be eligible for early release from his military commitment. He could then serve two years of active duty and six more years in the reserves.

A native of El Cajon, Calif., Cardona was also invited to the NFL scouting combine in February at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He was the only long snapper invited to the combine.

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Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage, a former Ravens executive and Cleveland Browns general manager, praised Cardona.

"He's a legitimate long snapper prospect," Savage said. "He definitely has a future in the NFL."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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