Celebrated NFL safety Troy Polamalu began studying at the University of Southern California in 1999. He was just short of finishing his degree in history, when he was he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2003.
At age 30, reports ESPN, he took advantage of an NFL lockout to go back to school and finish his degree. After graduating in 2011, the six-time Pro Bowler wrote on his website, "I decided to finish what I started and walked that stage today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education, and that nothing should supersede it."
"The majority of top picks in the NFL get drafted before they complete their college education," Polamalu continued. "I truly love football and it's such an immense blessing and privilege as an athlete to be given the rare opportunity to use those talents at the highest professional level, but it's certainly not a replacement for an education."