Former South Dade and Hurricane cornerback Jhavonte Dean returned to the University of Miami to earn his degree.
Dean received a degree in political science with a minor in forest management by completing two online classes during the spring semester.
“It feels good,” Dean said. “I told myself it was something I would eventually get ever since I got into playing sports. My mom always told me a degree is big and you’ll always have it forever and that motivated me to go back and get my degree. Even though I finished football, it wasn’t all about football. That’s why it says ‘student-athlete.’”
UM has a program set up for its athletes to return to school to earn their degrees even after their athletic eligibility has expired.
“I took advantage of it and it’s worked out for me,” Dean said. “I’m very excited to get my degree.”
Dean was one of 49 student-athletes to earn a degree from Miami this month.
“It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication displayed by these outstanding student-athletes,” Miami director of athletics Blake James said in a statement. “While they may not have the opportunity to walk across the stage today at Watsco Center, that doesn’t take away from their tremendous accomplishments. I can’t wait to see where their life’s journey takes them from here.”
Dean, 24, has taken a journey since graduating from South Dade in 2015. He originally signed with Cincinnati, but attended Blinn College, a junior college in Texas. While at Blinn Dean became a four-star prospect and signed with Miami in their 2017 class.
He played two seasons at Miami and tied for the team-lead with three interceptions as a senior in 2018.
He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 2019 and was also with the Pittsburgh Steelers before playing in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Dean was a first-round pick by Seattle in the XFL Draft for the 2020 season, but did not appear in a game while recovering from having shoulder surgery in December.
He signed a contract with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers in March.
“Once this whole pandemic is over I’ll be able to go back and play football again,” Dean said. “I’m just playing a waiting game. I don’t know exactly when the CFL will start back up. Just waiting and seeing what happens.”
Dean has advice to younger players as they begin their football journeys:
“It might not start off the way you want it, but you control your destiny and you have control over what you can do. Don’t worry about things that are outside of your control. Whatever you can control, that’s what you control. Just keep fighting. It may not be there in the beginning, but just keep fighting and make it what you want it what you want it to be whether it’s football or life or anything.”