Jacksonville Jaguars

Eugene Monroe Has His Priorities in Order

NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses with with Jacksonville Jaguars #8 draft pick Eugene Monroe at Radio City Music Hall for the 2009 NFL Draft on April 25, 2009 in New York City  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Daniel ShanksAnalyst IMay 19, 2009

In today's (May 19) edition of the Florida Times-Union, Vito Stellino has a notebook about the beginning of OTAs in Jacksonville.

Most everyone showed up for the first of 12 OTAs, but one notable name was absent: Eugene Monroe.

But it wasn't because the rookie offensive lineman is holding out for a fat contract or vacationing in Mexico.

No, the mammoth offensive lineman from the University of Virginia was back in Charlottesville, Va., for his college graduation.

Talk about a breath of fresh air.

In this day and age, so many athletes use high school and college as simply a means to get to the professional ranks (ever heard of a guy going to school just to get his N.F.L. or his N.B.A.?).

There is a rampant tendency to overlook the opportunity at a top-flight education, free of charge. School is usually an afterthought for these guys, but it's clear that Monroe has not been sculpted in that mold.

I think the fact that Monroe would go back to get his diploma in person (I'm sure the university could have just mailed it to him) speaks volumes about his character. Something tells me fans won't have to worry about seeing Monroe's name in the police blotter.

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