Julian Edelman has had an impressive and somewhat improbable NFL career. A 7th round draft pick out of Kent State in 2009, Edelman has now two Super Bowl rings and is the leading receiver for the most unstoppable offence football has ever seen.
Despite his small stature, Edelman always believed he could make the big leagues, but in his younger days he had a few doubters.
On Tuesday, Edelman shared a photo to his Twitter account, showing a letter written from an old teacher who had chided the now-star Patriots receiver for believing he could play in the NFL.
In the letter, the teacher expresses regret about a comment he made to Edelman while he was sharing his NFL-aspirations while a student at Kent State. “You may not even remember it,” the teacher says, “but I’ve felt bad about it for years. You made some comment about ‘going to the league,’ and I said something about setting realistic goals, about how few people successfully enter the ranks of the professional athlete, blah, blah, blah.”
The teacher’s main concern is not that they are now left to eat their words, but rather that he underestimated Edelman and his passion for the game, saying “How I could ever have doubted your tenacity and grit is beyond me!”
Edelman, while sharing the post, looked to inspire his followers to pursue their dreams.
To any aspiring professional athletes, Edelman’s case here shows that there will be doubters no matter where you go. And as for college teachers, take this as a lesson and be careful about telling students they will never make it in the NFL — Bill Belichick might see something in them that you didn’t.
You can read the full text of the letter below.
I’m not sure you’ll remember me: I was your teacher for your English 100 class at CSM in the spring of 2006. I’ve been wanting to write to you for, oh, what seems like a thousand years, to apologise to you for a flippant comment I made to you that semester. You may not even remember it, but I’ve felt bad about it for years. You made some comment about “going to the league,” and I said something about setting realistic goals, about how few people successfully enter the ranks of the professional athlete, blah, blah, blah. I don’t thing it fazed you, frankly, but whenever I think back on it, I feel terrible, not because you proved me wrong, but because I stupidly voiced an uneducated opinion that implied I had distain [sic] for your passion for the game. I think it was early in the semester, before I knew you, but how I could ever have doubted your tenacity and grit is beyond me! Again, I doubt you’ve even thought about it twice, but even so, I am sorry for wedging my foot so firmly in my mouth that day.
set your goals high.