Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey will be honored Sunday with the NFL's Continuing Education Recognition Award, the N4A Award, by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. The second-year veteran received his bachelors degree in recreation and tourism from the University of Florida.
The N4A Award is given annually to the player who completed his degree while maintaining his professional football career, overcoming obstacles and challenges. He will be presented his award on June 4 at the National Convention in Kansas City, Mo. with 400 academic advisors in attendance.
"Jeremy was just awarded by the NFL for the N4A Award, which is the NFL's effort to foster continuing education. And he was given the award this year out of all the players in the league that have gone back and graduated last year," said head coach Jack Del Rio. "He was coming here, doing his workouts, driving back to Gainesville, finished up, got his degree, so we're proud of him for doing that. I encourage the players to finish their education, I think it's very important, and so we're happy for Jeremy."
Mincey is the first Jaguar to win this honor since the program began in 2001. Wide receiver Devard Darling of Kansas City joins Mincey as this year's other winner.
"It was a lot of hard work," said Mincey. "I went back to school for the 2007 spring semester and I had two internships I had to do and I had to work out at the same time. Every day, I would get up and drive back and forth to class in Gainesville, and come back for workouts, then head out to my internship in the afternoon at the Dupont YMCA. I appreciate the whole process and the recognition."
In the past year, the Jaguars have had several players work to continue to further their education including linebacker Brent Hawkins, defensive ends Reggie Hayward and Kenny Pettway and fullback Montell Owens. Safety Jamaal Fudge returned to Jacksonville this week after completing his course work for his bachelors degree at Clemson.