A one-year contract extension with the Cardinals will keep Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona through 2018. GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 09: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts on the sidelines during the preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 32-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Though Mother’s Day was one week ago, this is a touching story from Larry Fitzgerald who fulfilled a promise he made to his mother Carol before she died of breast cancer in 2003: to graduate from college.

“I’m glad I can finally shake the 15-year college student stigma,” Fitzgerald joked to ESPN. Fitz left the University of Pittsburgh after his sophomore season to pursue the NFL and put his college education on hold. Though he’s become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in that period, he never forgot the promise he made to his mother while he was at Pitt the first time.

Carol told Larry this before she sadly passed away: “Education is one thing nobody can ever take from you. I know you have a passion to play ball, but education is something you can carry for the rest of your life.”

And so, though he’s been working at it for 13 years while also becoming one of the best wideouts in the NFL, Fitzgerald finally was able to say he has graduated from college. He graduated from the University of Phoenix majoring in communications and minoring in marketing.

“I wanted to make sure I was doing what I promised her I’d do,” Fitzgerald said.

His choices of communications and marketing could lead to a wide variety of potential careers when his NFL career ends, which includes a potential job in the media.

“They’re skills I think are essential for life,” he said.

“I was the only one in my family who hadn’t graduated,” Fitzgerald said. “So now, finally being able to graduate, I’m part of the family now, for real.”

Now he can be a part of that family, as well as finally saying he fulfilled a promise he made to his mother. I’m getting a bit dusty over here.


About Matt Lichtenstadter

Recent Maryland graduate. I've written for many sites including World Soccer Talk, GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Testudo Times, Yahoo's Puck Daddy Blog and more. Houndstooth is still cool, at least to me. Follow me @MattsMusings1 on Twitter, e-mail me about life and potential jobs at matthewaaron9 at Yahoo dot com.