One of Tom Brady’s favorite receiving targets is riding off into the sunset. Patriots legend Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL a couple of days ago. The former Kent State quarterback played all 12 of his pro seasons with New England as a top level wide receiver.
Edelman was living proof that a receiver does not have to have ‘prototypical’ NFL size to reach success in the NFL. Though only 34 years of age, Edelman had battled some recent injuries that led him to walk away from the game (Fox News). Here is a closer look at Edelman’s football career.
From 100 Pound High School Freshman to 3x World Champ
When we say that Edelman has always been small in stature, we are not exaggerating. In fact, as a high school freshman Edelman weighed less than 100 pounds! Through sheer grit, tenacity, and lots of time in the weight room, Edelman turned himself into a bona fide playmaker on the football field.
Edelman eventually reached his size of 5-10 and 198 pounds and was possibly the best dual threat quarterback to ever play at Kent State University. The California native spent three years at Kent State and broke lots of school records. Edelman scored 52 total touchdowns for Kent State though he was more of a running threat than a downfield passer.
Plenty of folks thought Edelman was far too small to make in the NFL. Edelman promptly proved all of the naysayers wrong when the Patriots selected him in the last round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Edelman chose to change to the wide receiver position in order to showcase his 4.5 second (in 40 yard dash) blazing speed.
Edelman had never before played wideout until he became a pro player and this shows his amazing athleticism. Edelman became even more of a gym rat and fervently practiced his route running. Tom Brady took notice of Edelman’s tough work ethic and started to look for him downfield in crucial situations.
In fact, one could argue that Edelman was perhaps Brady’s favorite target each year during playoff time. Here are some other NFL achievements of Edelman.
- In 2013, Edelman worked his way into becoming one of the best wideouts on New England’s roster by racking up over 1,000 yards receiving (pro-football-reference.com).
- Edelman followed up his breakout season by capturing his first ever Super Bowl ring in 2014. In fact, Edelman caught five total touchdowns in his playoff career.
- Edelman’s career stats are impressive with over 600 total catches, nearly 7,000 receiving yards, and 36 total touchdown receptions.
- Helped lead the Patriots to three Super Bowl wins in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Is Edelman a Hall of Famer?
Many talking heads in the sports world are already discussing whether or not Edelman belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Though Edelman’s overall career numbers are solid, many folks believe his stats are not eye popping enough to warrant a Hall of Fame induction.
It appears as if the naysayers are doubting Edelman yet again. We would not count out Edelman just yet, as he made a career out of proving people wrong.