As if the prospect of an NFL career wasn't demanding enough, one Kansas City Chiefs rookie plans to add a medical degree to his already-busy schedule.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who goes by Larry, is no normal NFL rookie. And that's not just because he's a third-year medical student. Duvernay-Tardif, 23, hails from Quebec and played his college football at McGill. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle grew up speaking French but is also fluent in English.
As Duvernay-Tardif adjusts to life in the NFL, he'll not only be learning to compete against players with much more football experience than he has, he'll also be juggling medical school in the offseason. Duvernay-Tardif revealed to reporters that he plans to spend two months of medical school a year in the offseason for four years. At that pace he should get his degree in 2017 or 2018.
"Right now it's football," Duvernay-Tardif told the Chiefs' website about his main passion. "It’s football 100 percent. I love the idea, however, of having a good backup plan for after football. I want to do my two months a year and stay in the program, but my focus will be solely dedicated to football the rest of the time. This is a professional sport, it’s a full-time job and I want to give it my all."
— Kansas City Chiefs (@KCChiefs) June 2, 2014
Duvernay-Tardif is used to working medical school around his football obligations. At McGill he scheduled rotations around his practices, and sometimes that meant little to no sleep. The day before he was drafted he was called in to McGill's medical center to assist with an emergency C-section.
Even though he's only played offensive line for two years, Duvernay-Tardif's stature and athleticism led the Chiefs to select him in the sixth round of last month's NFL draft.
“The competition may not be to the level you'd like, so he should dominate that competition, and he did," Pat Sperduto, a Chiefs scout, said of Duvernay-Tardif's collegiate opposition. “This kid has physical talent that should equate to being an NFL player."
Duvernay-Tardif isn't the first NFL player in recent years to take an interest in medicine. Former Titans and Steelers defensive back Myron Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar, retired from football at the age of 26 so he could attend medical school.