Toler gets his degree — and some dorm life

Posted by Darren Urban on February 16, 2012 – 2:28 pm

It may be the best use of a year lost to a torn ACL.

Cornerback Greg Toler, who missed the 2011 season because he wrecked his knee, not only finished up the last three credits he needed at Saint Paul’s College — he took his final Finals a couple weeks ago — to get a degree in Criminal Justice, but he even stayed in a dorm for a couple of nights.

“Some of the guys (who he played football with) said ‘We can’t believe you came back, Greg,’ ” Toler said. “But I stayed in the dorm, and it brought me back around, seeing where I came from.”

Where he came from was the tiny Virginia college that was so far off the football map when he was there it nearly wasn’t on the map, and a school that dropped its football program last summer. He had a mentor telling him as soon as he was drafted to come back and get his degree as soon as he could, before he got caught up in being an NFL player. Toler didn’t heed that, but it was important for him to get it done.

“I just felt like there was no better time than now,” Toler said. “I’m happy to do it for my son, my mother. I’m happy she’s going to be able to see me walk.”

Toler plans to take part in the Saint Paul’s graduation ceremonies in May. He did need some help, and got some both from a student board and the school’s president in allowing him to get into classes after the deadline. He did some work long distance, returned to Virginia for a few weekends for more of the work, and then spent a week (which including his recent dorm experience.) That return included a couple of tests and an essay in biological science, in addition to seeing the guy who ran the pizza shop Toler frequented during his college days.

“He was surprised, saying he thought I would’ve changed, but I’m the same guy, just have a different zip code now,” Toler said.

Rehabbing his knee, Toler — a restricted free agent who is expected to be back with the Cards — has every expectation to be ready for training camp. But he also likes the idea of having a degree. He said he was good in forensics in school, and while he didn’t necessarily see himself following his sister as a second lawyer in the family, he could see himself in some part of law enforcement.

He’d rather play 15 years in the NFL, of course. But he likes what his degree means, for both himself and his son. “Now I can make my son get (a degree),” Toler said. “He’s seen me play football and I don’t want him to think that’s it.”

Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »

18 Responses to “Toler gets his degree — and some dorm life”

  1. By Rod on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Great stuff. Really nice to see pro athletes committed to their future beyond football and using their heads as well as athletic gifts. great role model for his son.

    Will definitely be rooting for GT next season!!

  2. By johnnybluenose on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    that’s a great story. nice going greg toler !!

  3. By Chris on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Bravo Greg! Bravo! Always good to have a well rounded mind and body. Football can get you so far but some can’t even get to the NFL level.

    Good example for his son to follow..

  4. By Peter on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    I miss Greg. I wonder what happens to the CB depth chart when he comes back. Your thoughts Darren…

  5. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Peter —

    RE: CB depth chart

    Let’s see what happens when we actually get to on-field work. Richard Marshall is a free agent, no guarantee he’ll be back.

  6. By Brian on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Great job ! Its nice to see you know the valve of a education , That being a NFL player can be short lived . You know that one 1st hand ! What a positive role model you are and not just for your son but others too ! Congradulations sir . Hope to see you back with the Cardinals next year . Congradulations agian sir .

  7. By Tim on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Congrats Greg! That is an awesome achievement and inspiring as well.

  8. By Eazy E on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Good story. We need Richard to come back because he’s coming off a horrific injury.

  9. By azfancolo on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Congratulations Mr. Toler! Way to step it up and finish and be a great role model for your son. Awesome!!!!

  10. By Peter in Canada on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    We really were counting on Toler last season with the trade of DRC and his loss was a major blow especially early in the season. I remember with horror those games when AJ and PP were trying to get up to speed while they and the other defenders were learning a new system and being routinely having their heads handed to them. Equally bad was the loss of Williams and the injury to Beanie made Smith the feature back. I hope they can both overcome their injuries and make a real contribution next year.

  11. By Spiffy on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Now if only Brian went to college… Perhaps, then, he could proof read his comments on education.

  12. By Ben on Feb 16, 2012 | Reply

    Ever since the draft when I said “who” after they called Toler’s name I have been impressed with his story.

    What a great step in his process. If only ESPN/other sports news would focus on these great stories instead of the drugs/arrests they always talk about.

    My hats off to you Toler, great job and an inspiration for me. I still have 23 units left to graduate from 12 years ago….maybe its time to fill out that application.

  13. By Scott H on Feb 17, 2012 | Reply


    RE: Response to Brian

    LOL!!! You nailed that one, dude! Funny…

  14. By Brian's Father on Feb 17, 2012 | Reply

    First off, I want to congradulate Toler on his achievement. Secondly, I want to congradulate Spiffy. Education should not be taken lightly. Congradulations on getting an education. Toler and Spiffy, I’m not sure if you will ever know my true graditude right now, but congradulations! You deserve all the congradulatons on this blog. So congradulations!

  15. By CreditCard on Feb 17, 2012 | Reply

    Good story. My opinion is that the cards took a\big hit when Tolar got hurt. He is a physical CB, and can match up with physical receivers. I look forward in seeing his career develop.

  16. By Chuck 1 on Feb 17, 2012 | Reply

    Another uplifting story, Darren.
    Keep ’em coming.

  17. By cardsalltheway on Feb 18, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I’d think you’ve already lost all those completed “units” or credits? After 10 years that’s what happens at some universities. That’s okay, you can still do it by starting all over. Whoooa!

    3 credits = 1 class. Wow, what an accomplishment. I’m sure it’s nice to have gotten it out of the way.

  18. By O Line on Feb 19, 2012 | Reply

    Always did like “d”s better than “t”s

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