After his junior season, Jarrett Jack (center) left Georgia Tech to enter the 2005 NBA Draft. It was his decision to go, but he promised his parents that he would eventually go back to earn his college degree. It took Jack a while — nine years, to be exact — but the Brooklyn Nets guard earned his degree in business management. Said Jack: “My parents always told me that nobody can predict tomorrow or how long anything is gonna last. Just trying to cover yourself on all grounds and have people respect you on all fronts and not just be just a basketball player. I really owe it to my parents.”
Six years after he left Florida and while he was in the midst of becoming the most prolific running back in NFL history, Emmitt Smith went back to college and earned a degree in public recreation.