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Watch Avery Williamson return to Kentucky for graduation

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Inside linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates defensive end Leonard Williams #92 and free safety Marcus Maye #26 after breaking up a pass in the endzone on a third own against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Inside linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates defensive end Leonard Williams #92 and free safety Marcus Maye #26 after breaking up a pass in the endzone on a third own against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson made another big play this past weekend, but this time, it was off the field.

While enjoying a successful career in professional football, Williamson still made time to finish his degree at the University of Kentucky:

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— Avery Williamson (@AWilliamson54) May 3, 2019

A fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, Williamson put up big numbers for the Wildcats on the field, racking up nearly 250 tackles over his final two seasons. He earned second-team All-SEC honors following his senior season.

Williamson received his degree from Kentucky in integrated strategic communications.

“Want to give a special thanks to the University of Kentucky for taking me in as a wide eyed freshman 9 years ago and turning me into the man I am today,” Williamson said on Twitter. “My parents, Barb Deniston, and Rock Oliver motivated me to complete this mission.”

Want to give a special thanks to the University of Kentucky for taking me in as a wide eyed freshman 9 years ago and turning me into the man I am today. My parents, Barb Deniston, and Rock Oliver motivated me to complete this mission. #CollegeGrad #BBN pic.twitter.com/qGcBBsxU0c

— Avery Williamson (@AWilliamson54) May 3, 2019

“I’d say a big reason why I decided to come back was just because I didn’t complete it, and I hate not completing things,” Williamson said in an interview with Kentucky Football. “I feel like education is important. You never know what situations life might throw at you. You know, if I do want to continue broadcasting what could be the difference between me getting the job or somebody else and it might be that I have a college degree. So this is going to set me up for the later part of my life.”

Drafted in the 2014 @NFLDraft ➡️ Four years with the @titans ➡️ Currently a LB with the @jets ➡️ Now a @universityofky GRADUATE! We are so proud of you, @AWilliamson54!#BBN #WeAreUK #SeeBlue pic.twitter.com/1XtXjW8VrA

— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) May 2, 2019

The Jets congratulated Williamson via social media for his academic achievements:

https://twitter.com/nyjets/status/1124464886413701121

Williamson has started 75 of 79 games over his five-year NFL career so far, including all 16 games in 2018, his first season with the Jets. Despite the offseason addition of star free agent C.J. Mosley, Williamson should continue to be a key contributor at the second level of the Jets defense.

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