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K-State Today

November 20, 2012

Turning pigskin into sheepskin: Former Wildcat and NFL player completes degree, will be College of Human Ecology student commencement speaker

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

When the National Football League knocked on Nick Leckey's door, the captain of the Kansas State University football team was 46 credits away from graduating.

With the NFL, he played for the Arizona Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams and the New Orleans Saints, where he picked up a Super Bowl ring in 2009.

But Leckey had made a promise to his mother and his aunt. He'd get that sheepskin.

The offensive lineman retired from football, moved from Phoenix to the Kansas City area, hometown of his wife Erin, a Kansas State University graduate in accounting and finance. And he enrolled as a distance student at Kansas State University. In December, more than nine years after he left Wildcat country, he will graduate with a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management.

Leckey has been selected to give the student commencement address for the College of Human Ecology. The college's commencement ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in McCain Auditorium.

"Of all the moments in my life, graduation ranks behind marrying my wife Erin and the birth of our first child. It will be tremendous to become a K-State alumni and hang my diploma next to my wife's," said Leckey, who was starting center of the university's 2003 Big 12 championship team.

"After graduating I plan to feast at Coco Bolo's with my family and then find a job in the Kansas City area," he said. "I don't know what lies ahead for me, but I will enjoy each day as it happens."

The College of Human Ecology will graduate about 130 students this semester. A live webcast of the university's commencement ceremonies will be available at http://www.k-state.edu/graduation.

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