November 5, 2008

Edelman a cut above the rest

Fans looking for a reason to watch the dismal Kent State Golden Flashes (2-7, 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference) take on Temple at Dix Stadium next Wednesday need to look no further than quarterback Julian Edelman.

Whether it is with his legs or his arm, Edelman is one of the few Flashes that continue to make plays and strike fear into opposing defenses.

The senior is coming off a stellar individual effort against Bowling Green in which he threw for 219 yards, ran for 170 more, and scored four touchdowns.

It is the fifth game in a row that Edelman rushed for over 100 yards.

On the year, Edelman has rushed for 1,098 yards on 155 attempts, scoring 10 touchdowns. Through the air, he has completed 111 of 205 pass attempts for 1,348 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In addition to his normal responsibilities, Edelman recently assumed duties returning punts and playing on the punt coverage team. Playing on the special teams unit will give NFL scouts a chance to see him in a role other than quarterback, something coach Doug Martin hopes will happen.

Martin thinks Edelman could make it in the pros as a wide receiver or as a specialist on special teams, much like former Flashes quarterback and current Cleveland Browns star, Josh Cribbs.

"In my opinion, and probably most coaches in the MAC if you asked them, he's the best pure football player in this conference. I know there are better pure quarterbacks, but if you just talk about a football player and watch what he does every game, I don't know if there is a player in the league more valuable to his team than Julian Edelman is to ours," Martin said. "Every time the guy goes into the game he makes something positive happen and it doesn't matter who he's playing; he makes plays."

If scouts are watching, Edelman's not worried. He's focused on winning the final three games of his collegiate career.

"That'll all come at the end of the season," he said. "If coach goes out there and asks me to be a punt returner and if that helps the team, I'm just going to help him do that, so I don't really think about that right now, I just try to focus on getting these last three wins and helping this coaching staff."

Edelman is humble, yet confident, always putting team above individual accolades and acclaim.

He appreciates having a coach who believes he can play on the next level, but doesn't let it go to his head. He knows that his bright future could disappear in a single play.

"This is a tricky game, whenever you're on that high and you think you're good, you can go out and get hurt, you can't even think about [the future]," he said. "I'm thinking about Temple right now. If we get these wins, that will be great."

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