(KCEN) -- A North Texas football player is using his military past to motivate his teammates.
Former US Army Specialist Brandon McCoy is now captain of the University of North Texas football team.
Brandon McCoy leads the Mean Green football team.
A captain and defensive end whose experience goes beyond the stadium.
Brandon McCoy, University of North Texas football player says, "Give all that you can if you have the opportunity. If you have breath in your body, just go as hard as you can."
That determination comes from a place most college athletes have never been.
Brandon "They Call Me Sarg" McCoy enlisted in the army after high school and served our country for four and a half years.
It was overseas where he learned to focus.
"Focused that tomorrow can be your last. Next minute can be your last. Especially when people around you are getting hurt people are dying around you. Bombs are coming into the base," he says.
He spent his free time training for football.
"I was telling all the guys, I am going to get out and play football."
And in 2010, McCoy walked on to the UNT football team.
Coach Dan McCarney noticed a leader from the start.
"He laid his life on the line, so what a great example, what a shining example to the guys on the football team. Leadership is taking guys and taking young men from where they are now to where they ought to be," says McCarney.
McCoy says his attitude changed overseas and has shaped the teammate he is today.
"We had such a brotherhood over there, as tankers it was like 'we are together'. I try to bring that here. It's the Mean Green brotherhood. How much do you put in for the man next to you."
He is willing give it his all.