Former NFL receiver Julian Edelman grew idolizing 49ers legend Jerry Rice. He found himself in an interesting position in high school when he went to prom with Rice’s daughter, Jaqui.
You can bet Edelman made the most of his time nearby Rice's stash of NFL hardware from his playing days.
“She took me to her prom. I did wear those Super Bowl rings. Sorry Jer,” Edelman said to Travis and Jason Kelce on a recent “New Heights” podcast episode. “I used to go in his office all the time. He was never home. So I’d be over there playing with Super Bowl balls. I saw jerseys.
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“It was crazy. Jerry Rice, bro. I was a Bay Area kid. He was a f--king legend. It was so crazy, and they had such a cool house. Man.”
Edelman was a diehard 49ers fan while growing up iin Redwood City, Calif. He played quarterback at Woodside High School and at the next level for the College of San Mateo and Kent State University. He switched to wide receiver when the New England Patriots drafted him in the seventh round in 2009.
You can bet his transition to wide receiver was influenced by Rice, his childhood idol.
“The first time I met him, the dude came out yoked up, six-packed up with his chain on, dreads that are starting back here,” Edelman said, pointing to the back of his head. “He was old Jerry by then. Oakland Jerry. He intimidated the f--k out of me. Which I understand, I have a daughter. I’m a father of one.”
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Edelman, of course, went on to match Rice’s three Super Bowl rings, winning them in 2014, 2016 and 2018. He retired after the 2020 NFL season, his 12th with New England, and finished his career with 6,822 receiving yards -- just over 16,000 short of Rice, the league's all-time leader.