On the surface, not many, if any, Pittsburgh Steelers players have missed any of the team’s first two OTA practices of 2019 but that will definitely change on Thursday as safety Jordan Dangerfield will miss session No. 3. Dangerfield, however, does have a good reason for missing the Steelers Thursday OTA practice.
“I’m going back to college to graduate after about 10 years now,” Dangerfield told Missi Matthews of steelers.com on Wednesday. “I started back in 2009. A big monkey off of my back, happy I’m finally getting it over with.”
Dangerfield will be graduating from Towson University in Maryland on Thursday and that’s where he finished his college football playing career at after starting it originally at Hofstra University. Dangerfield, who entered the NFL originally in 2013 with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent, told Matthews during his recent one-on-one interview that he’s been slowly knocking out the college credit hours he needed to graduate over the last several years in an effort to fulfill a promise he made to himself and his immediate family members.
“It means a lot,” Dangerfield told Matthews.” I’m just blessed and thankful that my son will be able to see me walk and it’s just a big monkey off my back. And it’s just something I promised myself, I promised my mom and my wife that I’m going to go back one day and finish. So, it means a lot to me.”
Dangerfield also told Matthews that he’s had the full support of the Steelers coaches and teammates along the way to him finally achieving his goal of becoming a college graduate and apparently leading that support system has been head coach Mike Tomlin.
“Absolutely,” Dangerfield said. “After every year we have the meeting with Coach Tomlin and after every season and OTAs he ask your plans. And I told him my plans and how I want to go back and finish and he always encouraged me to back and finish. And so he was a big part of it, along with my mom and my wife, encouraging me to go back and finish and just to get it over with. Since I was so close to finishing, it was right there. So, its just a blessing to be done with it now.”
As you can see in the included Wednesday tweet from Dangerfield mother, Erica Dangerfield, she is very proud of what her son has now accomplished.
Congratulations Jordan @Dangerfield__ . So proud of you. You left Towson to go to the NFL Draft just shy of graduation. Glad you never gave up and finished what you started.
— Erica Dangerfield (@Nycgold190) May 23, 2019
It’s unclear as to what Dangerfield’s college major was, but his Townson player bio page from several years ago indicated at that time it was sports management. Regardless, Dangerfield deserves a huge round of applause and respect for his recent accomplishment and the same goes for the Steelers for excusing him on Thursday so that he can attend his graduation ceremony.
Dangerfield originally joined the Steelers in January of 2014.