Need an inspiring story for your Thursday night reading pleasure? Jordan Dangerfield has you covered.
Thursday, Dangerfield was absent from Day 3 of Steelers OTAs at the Rooney Complex, but he wasn't sick or injured. He wasn't simply taking the day off, either. He returned to Baltimore County to graduate from Towson University, where he played from 2010 to 2012:
Dangerfield, who was originally signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2013, signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers in 2014. From there, he bounced on and off the practice squad for two years before making the team's 53-man roster in 2016. In 2017, however, Dangerfield was waived with an injury designation before again signing a reserve/future contract with the team in 2018. Through it all, he appeared in 14 games in 2016 and all 16 contests in 2018, making three starts over that stretch.
Dangerfield has one fumble recovery, 17 combined tackles (10 solo) and one tackle for a loss in his professional career with the Steelers.
Perhaps more impressive, Dangerfield remained committed to his schoolwork throughout this timeline, slowly chipping away at the requirements for his degree from Towson's College of Health Professions. Now, he's excited to accomplish this goal for himself, but he says it's even more important that he can deliver a promise to those closest to him.
"I'm just blessed and thankful that my son will be able to see me walk [at the ceremony]," Dangerfield told Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews. "It's just a big monkey off my back. It's something that I promised myself. I promised my mom and my wife that I'm going to go back one day and finish, so it means a lot to me."
Another key contributor in Dangerfield's decision?
"He always encouraged me to go back and finish," Dangerfield said. "He was a big part of it, along with my mom and my wife, encouraging me to go back and finish and just get it over with."