A decade after he left the university to pursue a job in the NFL, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will return to Kent State on Saturday to walk at commencement.
“I believe it is important to finish what you start,” Edelman wrote Thursday on Instagram. “This Saturday, I will be walking with my fellow Kent State graduates. Completing what I started back in 06.”
A 2005 graduate of Woodside High School in California, Edelman spent a year at the College of San Mateo — a community college close to home — before transferring to Kent State in Ohio. He was the starting quarterback there for three seasons but did not complete his degree.
The Patriots drafted Edelman with the 232nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, putting the last of his studies on hold. Since leaving for the NFL, however, the 32-year-old took the necessary steps to earn a Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree, according to the university.
“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,” Edelman said. “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.”
A proud member of Golden Flash network, Edelman is a member of school’s Athletic Hall of Fame and often sports a bright yellow “Kent State Football” T-shirt during Patriots practice.