Ron Moten knew some of the struggles that can happen to athletes after their pro careers are cut short. Fortunately, he was one of the lucky ones. Now chief of detectives for the Camden County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, Moten UCC’95 credits his Rutgers education with helping him navigate the pitfalls and build a successful second career.

A football standout at the University of Florida, Moten was drafted as a linebacker by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987, but by 1991, injuries had ended his career. With no backup plan, he drifted, spending two years working minimum-wage jobs, sleeping on a friend’s couch, and regretting leaving college before graduating. “I am that kid who made the ultimate mistake of not focusing on my education,” he says. Convinced that a college degree would improve his future, he enrolled at Rutgers.

Two years later, Moten graduated with a degree in psychology on what he says was the happiest day of his life. An internship landed him in the prosecutor’s office in 1995, and he’s been there ever since, working in every department, from narcotics to major crimes, before becoming chief of detectives in 2015.

Moten says he often shares his story as an example of life redirection, recalling one of his best days in law enforcement as the time a former criminal called to thank him for his pep talk—10 years after Moten helped put him in prison. Moten is grateful to serve as an inspiration. “I had a second chance,” he says. “A lot of guys don’t have that opportunity.”