Birthplace: Meridian, Miss.
College: Graduated United States Military Academy (West Point) in 2010
Military service: Three tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger
Military honors: Earned two Bronze Star Medals, including the “V” (Valor) for rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge
NFL career: Signed as a rookie free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in May 2014. After he was cut during training camp, the Steelers signed him to the practice squad, and he worked his way up to the 53-man roster for the 2015 season. Villanueva was inked to a four-year contract by the Steelers in July. He’s appeared in 35 games, starting 29 times.
Crossover appeal: Villanueva’s likeness can be seen not only in Madden NFL, but also in the upcoming release of Call of Duty: WWII
Sources: USA TODAY Sports research, Army Times