Being a big time college or pro football player doesn’t make you a hero.

Sure, kids may look up to you and see you as a role model, but there’s nothing heroic about playing a game well.

So, the 572 yards and four touchdowns that Devin Rushing accrued during his four a player for the United States Air Force Academy’s football team — while impressive — was hardly courageous. Hardly brave.

What he did on September 2 of this year, however, was pure heroism.

This from The Gazette (Colorado Springs):

… Rushing heard screaming from the water off the Florida coast and he identified a young man struggling 50 yards offshore in sever water conditions effected by Hurricane Hermine. According to Lt. Col. Raj Agrawal, Rushing “fought through crashing waves, brought him back to shore, and worked with a lifeguard to resuscitate the young man.”

His alma mater recently honored him for the valiant act. Here’s their full report (via Facebook):

This is to certify that the Air Force Achievement Medal has been awarded to Second Lieutenant Devin B. Rushing for Outstanding Achievement.

Second Lieutenant Devin B. Rushing distinguished himself by outstanding achievement while assigned to the 20th Space Control Squadron, 21st Operations Group, 21st Space Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. On 2 September 2016, the after effects of a recent hurricane increased the severity of waves along Florida’s Gulf Coast. While swimming was not prohibited in the Gulf, swimming in the more dangerous riptides required a higher level of training and athletic conditioning. On that day, Lieutenant Rushing heard screaming coming from the water. His attention was quickly directed to screams for help, pointing toward a drowning man approximately 50 years off the shore. Lieutenant Rushing swam out to the young man, fought through crashing waves, brought him back to shore, and worked with a life guard to resuscitate the young man. On this date, all of Lieutenant Rushing’s character, competence, and commitment to a higher calling came to bear upon a choice to risk his life for another’s. His choice led to another American, a young man that he did not know, getting to live another day. The distinctive accomplishments of Lieutenant Rushing reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Given under my hand,
Raj Agrawal, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force
Commander, 20th Space Control Squadron

Rushing — who maybe has the greatest surname of a running back in the history of college football — attended DeSoto High School in Texas.