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Larry Fitzgerald graduated from college and fulfilled a 15-year-old promise to his mother

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Fitzgerald is probably heading to Canton when his NFL career is over. In the meantime, he will be adding to his already impressive career numbers on the field and accomplishing a few more things off of it.

One of those goals was reached on Saturday. Fitzgerald—who attended the University of Pittsburgh before heading to the NFL—finally received his degree in communications and marketing from the University of Phoenix.

His graduation is more emotional than most others, given his circumstances. When he left the University of Pittsburgh early to declare for the NFL Draft, Fitzgerald promised his mother that he would finish his degree.

Unfortunately, his mother, Carol, passed away after a battle with breast cancer in 2003. Fitzgerald was drafted in 2004 by the Arizona Cardinals.

According to ESPN, Fitzgerald has been diligently working on his degree ever since:

He worked on classes year-round, including during the season, and logged in around the world, he said, during his international trips that ranged from Ethiopia to Brazil.

His 15-year academic journey is now complete. His mother would be proud of him.