When Ahman Green decided in 1998 to forgo his senior season at the University of Nebraska and head for the NFL, he promised his parents that he would one day earn his college degree.
'One day,' turned out to be Saturday, when Green took part in Nebraska's graduating ceremonies to celebrate the fulfillment of that promise.
Seventy-three credits shy of a geography degree when he left Nebraska, Green completed his education via correspondence courses.
"A lot of guys make it to the NFL and say, 'Okay, I'm successful. I don't have to get my degree,'" Green told the Associated Press last week. "This is something I can always use at any time, and I can use it as a tool to help shape my kids and my younger family members.
"I can say I'm successful at my sport, but I've also got a degree to fall back on."
In three years at Nebraska, Green tallied 3,880 yards and 42 touchdowns, good enough for second place on the Cornhuskers' all-time list.
He was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft and was traded to the Green Bay Packers after the 1999 season.
Since, Green has crossed the 1,000-yard mark in each of his three seasons with the Packers and has twice been selected to the Pro Bowl.
"A goal of mine as a kid was to go to college, not only to play football, but to get a degree," Green said. "Football was extra, a bonus, a way to get a scholarship. So I told myself, if I leave, my main intention is to finish up and be able to say I got my degree."
As of Saturday, he can.