Congratulations, Dan Connolly


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The outsized guy in the cap-and-gown there is Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly. And as the NFL Player Development folks told us the other day, that is his graduation from Southeast Missouri State.

Good for Connolly. As Troy Vincent explained and we detailed in a Globe story back in April, one of the main objectives of the NFL Player Development program is to make sure there are more guys like Connolly out there, who keep getting a college degree a priority, whether they have it or not upon going pro.

He kept at it, and finally got his sheepskin five years after leaving campus for the NFL. And Connolly was just one of the guys to collect plaudits from the league.

Browns do-everything dynamo Josh Cribbs got his degree from Kent State, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing (who had some bad news to work through too) graduated from Southern Cal, and recently retired former Pro Bowler Patrick Kearney was accepted to Columbia Business School.

Congrats to all those guys. These are the stories that are always easy to tell.

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