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Five UConn football players recognized by NFF for earning degrees early

The five Huskies are among 954 players across college football to have earned their undergraduate degrees with NCAA eligibility remaining.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Graduating college is not an easy task no matter who you are, but it’s even harder when playing a sport at the highest collegiate level. All the hours dedicated to the team can make succeeding in the classroom a challenge.

This year, 954 college football players were recognized by the National Football Foundation on Wednesday for completing their undergraduate degree before their eligibility expired. They will continue to play football while pursuing a graduate degree. Five of those players are UConn Huskies.

Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi, tight end Tommy Myers, quarterback Will Rishell and offensive lineman Kyle Schafenacker, all redshirt seniors, have graduated and are working on their Master’s degrees.

“The National Football Foundation takes great pride in its role as a leading voice in the promotion of the scholar-athlete,” NFF Chairman Archie Manning said in a press release.

Graduating in four years—no matter who you are—is a worthwhile accomplishment. Doing so while traveling on weekends and getting up early for workouts followed by class, practice and then homework is even harder. These five players also are going to benefit in their post-football lives by beginning the path towards the attainment of a graduate degree.