Last month, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was busy signing a five-year contract extension worth $255 million to at the time make him the highest-paid player in the NFL. Fast forward to Friday night, and the former Alabama star was at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., walking across the stage to collect his master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma.

Hurts spent the first three years of his college career at the University of Alabama where he graduated early with a bachelor’s degree in communication and information sciences.

Not only did Hurts excel in the classroom at Alabama, but he also succeeded on the field. Hurts earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year his freshman season and finished with 2,780 passing yards, 954 rushing yards, and 36 total touchdowns, while leading Alabama to a 14-1 record losing to Clemson in the national championship game by way of a Deshaun Watson game-winning touchdown drive.

After being benched for Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game his sophomore season, Hurts would spend most of his time as a backup his junior year before graduating from Alabama and transferring to Oklahoma for his senior season.

While at Oklahoma, Hurts juggled working on his graduate degree and having an outstanding season under coach Lincoln Riley that led to a runner-up finish in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting behind LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

After being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Hurts once again did some juggling with school work and football. Over the past three seasons in the NFL, Hurts has been working on finishing up his master’s degree while simultaneously becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Just last season, Hurts finished second in the NFL MVP race to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and later led his Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl where he would also fall short to Mahomes.

Hurts got his inspiration to earn his master’s degree from his mother, who started out as a special education teacher but decided to go back to school to get her master’s to become a counselor after seeing some of her colleagues being laid off from their jobs.

"She went back to school, and she got her master's to become a counselor," Hurts told Essence in April. "That's a living testimony for me."

Hurts and the Eagles open up their NFL season on September 10 on the road against another former Alabama quarterback, Mac Jones, and the New England Patriots.

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