Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap was standing in the same locker room in front of the same locker he’s been using for more than six years, but he couldn’t help but feel like a new man.
That’s because Thursday night he walked across a stage at the University of Miami to receive his master’s degree in business administration.
“It feels really good, getting that over with and keeping my promise to my mom,” Dunlap said. “That was huge.
“When I went to Florida I wanted to get my business degree, but they deterred me away from it because how it conflicted with the athletic schedule,” Dunlap added. “This is what I wanted, but I also promised my mom I would go back and finish my undergrad if I left early.”
Dunlap took his final three classes online to get his bachelor’s from Florida in family, youth and community services. He missed that ceremony because he was at the NFL Draft in Chicago to announce the Bengals’ third-round pick, but he was in Miami to accept his master’s thanks to the NFL partnering with UM to offer current and former players a chance to earn their MBAs.
Joining Dunlap in the class was former Bengals linebacker Takeo Spikes. Former Ohio State and New Orleans defensive end Will Smith sat two seats away from Dunlap before he was shot and killed in a road rage incident last month.
Smith’s wife, Racquel, accepted the degree on behalf of her husband, which was one of many reasons Dunlap said the ceremony was so special.
“Going through it inspired me,” Dunlap said. “The speeches that they gave, the process, the excitement from everybody. The excitement for my mom. It was almost more exciting for her than when I got drafted. I was like, ‘Man. Now I finally did something right.’ ”
Second signing: The Bengals signed seventh-rounder Clayton Fejedelem on Monday, making him the second of this year’s seven draft selections to finalize a contract.
Sixth-round wide receiver Cody Core signed Saturday.
Fejedelem is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety from Illinois, who was the school’s defensive player of the year last season with a team-high 140 tackles, the most by an Illini player since 2007.
Dalton delivers: The foundation headed by Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and his wife, Jordan, held its inaugural golf outing Saturday and raised more than $40,000.
The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation Golf Scramble featured 132 golfers and guests and Twin Oaks Golf and Plantation Club.
“We’ve had tremendous support over the years and to be able to add another fundraising event to our programming means the world to us,” Andy Dalton said.