By: Alex Magay, Director of Development
As many of you know, Julian Edelman retired from the NFL and the New England Patriots earlier this week. As a lifelong Patriots fan, I am sad to see him go, but I am happy he chose the right time to walk away from the game. Reflecting on his career, what I enjoyed most about Jules is his ability to persevere against all odds. I see many similarities between Julian Edelman and Learning Prep School.
Coming out of high school, Julian had a tough time finding a college that wanted him, but he never lost faith in himself, he never lost confidence, and he refused to give up. He decided to attend junior college for one year before accepting the first and only scholarship offered to him from Kent State, a mid-major university in Ohio. The 5'10" quarterback had a great college career, but he was not considered a lock as an NFL prospect due to his lack of size. Many would have given up on their dreams at this point, but not Julian. During his pre-draft workouts, the New England Patriots loved his intangibles, like his leadership ability, competitiveness, work ethic, and athletic ability. The Patriots selected him with their 7th round draft choice. Every other team in the NFL could have drafted him seven times over, but only the Patriots believed in him.
Once drafted, Julian was asked to convert from quarterback to slot receiver, and he made the change without any complaining. When asked to play special teams, rush the ball, or play defense on occasion, he was always happy to do what was best for the team when they needed him most. Similarly, at LPS, teachers and staff members are often asked to teach new classes they were not planning on or to cover a class, lunch duty, or cab duty, but just like Julian, someone always steps up to help the team.
Jules was not an instant success by any means. He had to pay his dues and work really hard for years, backing up Wes Welker before getting his chance. When Julian finally did, he shined, leading the Patriots in receptions for many of the next six years as a starter, finishing 2nd all-time in receptions in Patriots history.
Tom Brady said, "On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, Julian always came through."
Moments like that diving catch in Super Bowl LI, helping the Pats overcome a 28-3 second-half deficit to the Atlanta Falcons, will live in our memories forever. Two years later, Jules became the first Jewish player in NFL history to earn Super Bowl MVP in their victory over the Rams. When LPS faced the biggest challenge in our history, we too came through in the clutch, delivering in-person and remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year during the pandemic.
Like LPS staffers, Edelman has always had a positive attitude motivating his teammates on the sidelines and in the locker room that endeared him to his teammates and fans. It is hard to find a more positive environment to work in or attend than Learning Prep School. Spend a day on campus, and you will see that everyone at LPS says hello, holds the door for you, and supports one another, helping us to be our best. I think Julian would fit in well at LPS if given a chance.
So here's to #11, and here's to Learning Prep School for always giving your best, working hard, and having a great attitude. We salute you!