When Ed Hervey was 12, he promised his mother he’d earn his college degree.
More than 30 years later, Hervey will make good on that vow. On Saturday, the 43-year-old Edmonton Eskimos GM will receive his bachelor of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“I made a promise to my mom that had to be kept,” Hervey said in a release issued by the school. “She was very much against me playing football in the first place but after I begged her to let me on the field, I had to promise that I would go to school and get my degree.
“I started on this path several years ago and this week it comes to fruition.”
Hervey’s mother, Velma, will be there along with his sister, brother-in-law and niece when he’s given his degree at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Hervey played college football at USC, where he converted to receiver from quarterback, but left school without his degree to pursue a pro career. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL draft to the Dallas Cowboys and also spent time with Oakland (twice) and Denver before joining the Eskimos in 1999.
“My family was living in housing projects in Los Angeles so when I was at USC my main objective was to get my family out of there,” he said. “The opportunity to go play professional football was out there so earning my degree at the time had to be sacrificed.”
Hervey played eight seasons with Edmonton, winning two Grey Cups while registering 476 catches for 6,715 yards and 43 TDs. He retired in 2007 to become a scout with the club.
He was promoted to head scout two years later and became the Eskimos’ GM in 2012. Hervey added the vice-president of football operations title in February 2015 and last season Edmonton won the Grey Cup.
Hervey began working towards his degree after meeting with Janice Henry of JD Consulting Group, a Las Vegas-based group specializing in helping athletes return to school to earn their degrees. Hervey completed his courses both online as well as in person at UNLV while balancing his CFL duties.
“Did I foresee it taking this long when I was 12 years old? Absolutely not,” he said. “But I’ve made it a priority the last few years and I’m proud that it’s finally here.
“I know my mom is excited.”
Hervey praised the Eskimos for allowing him to accomplish the feat.
“From the time that I approached them about this, everyone has been very supportive,” he said. “(President/CEO) Len Rhodes gave me his blessing and having that support was a key in my quest to get this done.”
Hervey said he’s considering the pursuit of his master’s degree. More importantly, Hervey added he’s living proof it’s never too late for people to pursue their dreams.
“Doing all this is a lesson to those that I come in contact with that you can accomplish what you set your mind to,” Hervey said. “Whether it’s now or five or 20 years down the road _ when the opportunity is there, take advantage of it.”