Nearly two years after playing his last game, Daniel Graham is back at Colorado.

Graham, who completed his playing career at CU in 2001, is two classes shy of his degree, so he's taking care of that now.

"It's going good," said Graham, who made an appearance at the Buffaloes' practice on Wednesday. "I try to tell these kids to do it the first time because it's hard to motivate yourself 13 years later to finish."

As a senior at CU in 2001, Graham was an All-American and won the John Mackey Award, given to the best tight end in the country. He was the 21st overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft, by the New England Patriots.

After five seasons in New England, Graham played for the Denver Broncos from 2007-10. He played for the Tennessee Titans in 2011 and for the New Orleans Saints in 2012 before deciding to end his career. Graham finished his NFL career with 224 catches for 2,490 yards and 25 touchdowns.

"It's good to give the body a rest," Graham, 35, said. "I feel a little bit of 19 years of banging on my body, but nothing major. I was fortunate to really have no concussions in my career."

Now that he's done playing, Graham is taking one online class and a night class on campus and plans to graduate in December. Graham said he's looking forward to the graduation ceremony.

"Oh yeah, I can't wait," he said. "After all these yeas, I've got to (go to graduation)."

Now that he's on his way to graduation, Graham said it's time for another former Buff to follow suit.


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"I'm challenging Alfred Williams to co me up here and graduate," Graham said. "I told him I'm doing something he'll never do: get a CU degree."