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Curtis Lofton went back to Oklahoma and earned his college degree


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Former Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who was a second-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2008, returned to school in 2016 and recently earned his degree.

Lofton promised his grandmother, Debra Terrell, that he wanted to buy her a house as a young boy and later promised a teacher, Mrs. Jech, that he would get his degree.

He left school early for the NFL after three seasons with the Sooners.  He wrote about his journey in an article for the school’s website titled, “A promise kept.” 


After his mother was arrested and his father was nowhere to be found, Terrell took in Lofton and his siblings. He later reconnected with his mother in high school. 

He was 21 when he arrived in Atlanta from his hometown of Kingfisher, Okla. He said veteran players Tony Gilbert, Mike Peterson and Tony Gonzalez helped prepare him for his career and life in the big city.

Lofton played four seasons for the Falcons from 2008-11 and racked up 482 tackles and 21 tackles for loss. But with the league changing to more passing offenses, teams were looking for faster linebackers, who could stop the run and cover.

The Falcons went to the playoffs in three of Lofton’s four seasons with the team. He was on the first back-to-back winning teams in franchise history (2008 and 2009).

Lofton went on to play for the Saints from 2012-14. He finished his career with Oakland in 2015. 

In his third season in the league, he had a house built for Terrell. Fulfilling the other promise was much more difficult.

“Starting college again after being away for so long was crazy,” Lofton wrote. “I thought I had some crazy professors and the amount of work sometimes felt overbearing and overwhelming.”

He persevered. 

His wife, Jenny, played soccer at Oklahoma and wore her “O” ring that’s given to graduates. Lofton wanted one. The Lofton’s have two young girls, Aaliyah Grace and Alani Jordan.

Lofton graduated recently to fulfill that second promise.  




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