Academy grad signs with Kansas City Chiefs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- An Air Force Academy graduate and reservist marks another first in his pro football career this week, when he starts the season on an NFL roster.

Chad Hall is at practice this week as a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. This is Hall's fourth season with the NFL and the first time he will be on a team's active roster for a season opener.

The 2008 Academy grad is an Air Force Reserve captain.

Hall started 2013 on the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad. The team moved him to the active roster Jan. 19. He earned an NFC championship ring and dressed out for the Super Bowl.

He started this season in training camp with the 49ers, but was cut Saturday when all teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players.

Even after being given his walking papers from the team that got him to a Super Bowl, Hall was gracious.

"Just wanted to thank the at the 49ers for the opportunity," Hall tweeted. "Y'all know me, I will be out working everybody until my next opportunity. Can't wait!"

He didn't have to wait long before his former head coach, Andy Reid, came calling.

Hall's pro career started in 2010 when the Philadelphia Eagles, under then-head coach Andy Reid, signed Hall after he finished his active duty commitment and transferred to the Air Force Reserve.

Reid is now head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, saddled with one of the NFL's biggest rebuilding projects. Owning the top position for waiver claims due to the Chief's 2012 season record, Reid scoured the waiver wire and snatched Hall up before another team could lay claim to the 5-foot-8-inch wide receiver/returner.

Hall played for  Reid during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, starting each season on the practice squad and being signed to the active roster later both times.

In 2012, when offered a practice squad spot again, Hall declined the Eagles offer. He sought his NFL opportunities elsewhere, and was signed to the 49ers practice squad.

Hall's long road through the NFL landed him an active roster spot for the start of the season, and will take him to Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 8, for the Kansas City Chiefs' season opener against the Jaguars. He currently sits third-string on the depth chart at wide receiver and is not listed on special teams as a kick or punt returner, but he's only been on Chief's roster for six days.

Hall is one of three Air Force Academy graduates currently playing pro football.

Ben Garland is on the Denver Broncos practice squad, and plays defensive line after a stint in training camp at offensive guard. Switching to his military uniform, this 2010 Air Force Academy graduate is a captain with the Colorado Air National Guard's 140th Wing at Buckley AFB, Colo.

In the Canadian Football League, the Academy's Class of 2009 is represented by Spencer Armstrong, who was signed Aug. 5 by the Calgary Stampeders after completing his active-duty obligations. Armstrong, born in Halifax, counts as a non-import player per CFL rules. He was drafted by Calgary in the fourth round of the 2009 CFL draft, and is now a wide receiver on the Stampeders' practice squad.