Julian Edelman, who was named Super Bowl MVP earlier this month after his victory with the New England Patriots, helped take down Eastern Michigan more than 12 years ago in a game that featured little offensive production from either team. The game took place on Nov. 17, 2006 in Kent, Ohio.
Edelman scored the only offensive touchdown with a 68-yard pass to Najah Pruden. That score put Kent State up 7-0 with seven minutes into the first quarter. Edelman would go on to complete 9 out of 18 of his passes, throwing for 188 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Offense was hard to come by for the Eagles as quarterback Andy Schmitt completed just 10 out of 21 of his passes for 104 yards and two picks. Schmitt was injured halfway through the third quarter as he was hit while throwing the ball. He left the game and Tyler Jones came into replace him. Jones finished the game going 5 for 13 for 70 yards and two interceptions.
The Eagles only scoring came in the fourth quarter from kicker Andrew Wellock, who hit a 25-yard and a 39-yard field goal to prevent the Eagles from getting shut out.
That game also featured another future NFL starter, as current Detroit Lions offensive lineman T. J. Lang was part of the starting lineup. He would play at Eastern for two more seasons before entering the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round.
The loss was just another in a long season for EMU that year, as the Eagles would finish the season with a 1-10 record and a 1-7 conference record, their lone win coming against conference Toledo 21-13 at Rynearson Stadium. Kent State would finish their season 6-6 and 5-3 in the MAC.
Edelman would continue to play quarterback at Kent State for two more years. By the end of his senior season in 2008, Edelman had amassed a total of 4,997 passing yards and thrown 30 touchdowns during his three years as the starting quarterback.
After finishing his collegiate career, Edelman entered the 2009 draft where he was selected in the seventh round by the New England Patriots. Once apart of the team, Edelman changed positions, instead of throwing the ball, he would now be catching it as a wide receiver. He has competed in four Super Bowls over the course of his career, with three victories, including a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in 2019.
In those four Super Bowls, Edelman has caught a combined 24 passes for 337 yards and one touchdown. He became the first former MAC player to be named Super Bowl MVP for his performance against the Rams, catching 10 passes for 141 yards. That’s saying a lot considering former MAC players Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison have both won Super Bowls but failed to be named the MVP.
“An absolute honor to get this award,” Edelman said in his press conference after Super Bowl LIII. “But honestly, I’m just so proud of the group of guys that we had this year, the ups and downs we had just with the ebbs and flows of the season.”
Edelman’s journey of coming from a MAC school, being asked to change positions after being drafted and winning a Super Bowl MVP goes to show that it doesn’t matter where someone comes from, but what they put into a game.