There is a perception that college athletes might be so absorbed in their jock world they don't know what's going on in the bigger one outside.
Not so Daniel Lincoln.
Tennessee's kicker said during a community service visit Friday his priority is rising above a frustrating junior year and getting back to the mountain top as a senior.
But after football, Lincoln is determined to take on one of the hardest jobs in the world.
"I want to be a Navy SEAL,'' he said. "I've already started training for it.''
The SEAL program is the Navy's special-warfare unit. Its training is reputed to be among the most demanding in the world.
SEALs, in brief, handle the dirtiest jobs in the most dangerous circumstances. A lot of thought and prayer led Lincoln to such a commitment.
"With the current state of the world and our country right now,'' he said, "it needs people that are very motivated.
"People that have the talents to fight and defend it, to get the job done and get it done right. I know that's what I want to do.''
He got college done right, finishing a degree in international business in December. He plays his senior year as a grad student.
Law school appealed, but then the grandson of a decorated World War II machine-gunner determined there was a better way he could maximize his talents.
"I want to make a difference,'' he said.
"And I don't want to look back 20, 30 years from now and think, 'You could have made a bigger difference,' whether it be in your community or in your country or - I know it's a huge picture and people might think it's kind of dreamy - but the world.''
There is a long road of training ahead before one becomes a member of an elite unit that might find itself in Iraq, Afghanistan or taking out Somali pirates.
"I've got a lot of talents and skills that if I'm not involved in athletics, that's the best way they can be used,'' Lincoln said.
For one more football season, Lincoln is still very much involved in athletics.
Special forces will have to wait on special teams.
After a Freshman All-America season in 2007, Lincoln has struggled, with consistency as a sophomore and an injury as a junior.
He's pain-free and ready to take on all challengers, including freshman Michael Palardy.
"It doesn't matter who they bring in,'' he said, "I'm competing against myself. Let's get it on.''
Lincoln has high hopes for the special teams in 2010. Judging from spring practice, he said Derek Dooley's regime is more committed to the kicking game than Lane Kiffin's was.
"Special teams, in this past year, hasn't been a huge priority,'' Lincoln said. "It's been obvious from our performance in the games.''
It is a priority for Dooley. A former special-teams coordinator for Nick Saban, Dooley has a hand in every phase of the kicking game.
Assistant coach Eric Russell, most recently of Texas Tech, is the special teams coordinator. Lincoln said Dooley attends every meeting.
"Listening to what the coaches say and then looking at their track record, they can show you on film where it worked,'' Lincoln said.
"I can hear it from the other players listening around the room, they're buying in to the techniques.''
Lincoln just wants to make a difference.
First, in Tennessee's season. Then, in a troubled world.