A handful of his former teammates sprinted, jumped, lifted weights and answered questions Wednesday for 26 scouts from 24 NFL franchises while former Colorado linebacker Paul Vigo watched it all from the other side of the ropes in the Buffs' practice bubble.

Vigo smiled proudly while watching his friends, happy to see them still chasing their dreams of possibly being paid to play the sport they love. The sport he loves.

His heart is full and content knowing he has made a decision that is right for him, and more importantly, right for his 3-month-old daughter, Faith.

After completing a senior season last fall in which he served as a team captain, Vigo began earnestly considering what to do next in life with his degree in sociology earned and years of memories with his teammates to cherish.

Former Buff Paul Vigo, left, is headed to the United States Army, while Chidera Uzo-Diribe has his sights set on the NFL. Vigo was on hand Wednesday to
Former Buff Paul Vigo, left, is headed to the United States Army, while Chidera Uzo-Diribe has his sights set on the NFL. Vigo was on hand Wednesday to watch his fellow teammates during pro timing day on the CU campus. More photos and videos from pro timing day: www.BuffZone.com. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

After plenty of soul searching and investigating his options, he gave a commitment for the second time in his life to a recruiter. This one works for the U.S. Army.

He will report to Fort Benning, Ga., for basic training in early May at the same time his former teammates who worked out for scouts at CU's pro timing day will be about to find out if they will be drafted or signed as free agents.

"I did what I wanted to do," Vigo said. "I was captain, which was a big accomplishment for me with all that I've been through and all that a lot of us guys who have been here for awhile have been through. I was like, 'I think I'm done with football.' I didn't have the most successful season that I wanted to have, but I kind of wanted to do something else."


Vigo isn't just joining the army to go through basic training, serve the minimum time, learn a few skills and bolt. He has his focus set on special forces and place with the Army Rangers.

"The team aspect is there at the highest level because you're trusting the other person with your life now," Vigo said. "It's not a game any more. I look forward to that, especially the job that I chose, infantry. A lot of people are hesitant to jump into that field, but it's like one of the best brotherhoods that you can ever get in to."

Vigo said his family and others close to him tried to talk him out of it, but they have grown mostly supportive now, understanding his motivation. He says he wants to make his place in the world and not have to rely on anyone to help him, and he believes the best way to do that is by serving his country.

Former Buffs defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe was among those on the field working out for scouts Wednesday. He was not among those who tried to talk Vigo out of enlisting. Uzo-Diribe said he's happy to see Vigo doing something that he believes will make him happy.

"I think he's moving on to life after football and as a Buff brother, him being like family to me, I'm supporting whatever he does," Uzo-Diribe said. "Whatever he's going to do, that's what's best for him and I can tell him I've got his back 100 percent."

Vigo's primary motivation is being able to take care of Faith. He has come to terms with the fact that he will have to go a few long stretches without seeing her in the next few years. The long-term benefits outweigh those sacrifices.

"I think about that all the time, but she's young and I feel as though I will be able to explain at a later time when she's able to understand," Vigo said. "Right now, my focus is providing. Yeah, I'm going to miss the moments when I get to hold her and jump around and play with her, but as long as her needs are getting met, she's healthy, she has great healthcare, she has college being paid for, that's my main focus. Her future."

Vigo said he had a couple uncles, with whom he was not close, and several high school friends who served in the army. He said his high school friends are doing very well for themselves and that helped him decide it might be good for him and his daughter.

He also spoke with a former teammate, Guy Sargeant, who is serving in the navy, about his experiences with military life. He's confident he made the right choice.

"It's risky, but at the same time, it's exciting and I look forward to it," Vigo said.

"I think that's the ultimate service job right there. It's for a good cause and I'm not hesitant about it. I look forward to doing what I'm doing."

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/kyleringo.