Foxborough, MA– Throughout his NFL career, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has been a lot of things. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion, he is a Super Bowl MVP, he is a potential NFL Hall of Famer, and he is even a children's book author. But one thing has never been on his resume: college graduate. That's all about to change, though, as colleges around the world enter into graduation season and Edelman is slated to be among those walking in a cap and gown and receiving his diploma.
After attending the Kentucky Derby and the Met Gala last week, Edelman returned to his roots to graduate from Kent State University this past weekend, ten years after he left the college to enter the NFL Draft. Playing quarterback at Kent State, Edelman ended up being a late pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, but he has of course blossomed into a Patriots fan favorite and one of the best slot receivers and post-season receivers to ever play the game.
For many athletes, college is just a stepping stone to professional sports, but every now and then, athletes can be seen returning to college to get the degree they started but never completed when their professional athletic goals took precedence.
Edelman was a quarterback for Kent State for three seasons, so he could not have had too many credits to make up (certainly there were fewer credits left over than his 30 touchdown passes during his collegiate career). The 32-year-old is listed as an "integrated studies" major by Kent State. He released a statement about the exciting moment in his life on Instagram:
"I believe it is important to finish what you start. This Saturday, I will be walking with my fellow Kent State graduates. Completing what I started back in 06. It is important to me that I make my parents proud as I fulfill a promise that I made to them that I would, one day, be a college graduate. I also want to set a great example for my daughter, so that when I talk about the importance of a college degree, I can show her that earning my degree was important to me. To my fellow Golden Flash graduates, Congratulations!"
Many Patriots chimed in with their own wishes of congratulations, including Tom Brady, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Jacob Hollister, Rob Ninkovich, and Dont'a Hightower. To every graduate in the past week, this weekend, and next week, too, including Edelman, congratulations! You did it!