CLEVELAND — Former Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman was a seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2009 NFL Draft, and now, after a position change to wide receiver and decade-long NFL career, he is the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LIII.
Edelman caught 10 passes for 141 yards to help lead the Patriots to a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, Sunday night, and shortly after the presentation of the Vince Lombardi Trophy to owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady, Edelman was named the Super Bowl LIII MVP.
“I wasn’t focused on that,” Edelman said of the honor during the postgame interview with Jim Nantz. “I was just trying to go out and have a good week of practice and do my job, and sometimes, the cookie crumbles that way.
“It just matters that we won, man. It was a crazy year. We had a resilient bunch of guys. It was unreal, man. It was like a home game here. We love you guys here. It was awesome.”
As Edelman walked to the center of the podium for his interview, Patriots fans inside the stadium lauded him with chants of “MVP, MVP, MVP.”
“He deserves it,” Brady told Nantz. “That was one of the best games he’s ever played.”
Edelman converted his 10 receptions into 141 yards, with a long gain of 27 yards. Edelman averaged 14.1 yards per reception and had the most catches and receiving yards of any receiver in the game.
In addition to being the game’s leading receiver, Edelman moved into second place all-time on the postseason receiving yards list. He came into the game already having the second-most receptions in playoff history.
The 10 receptions were Edelman’s most and the 141 receiving yards were the second-most in any one game this season. It was only the fourth time that Edelman eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark on the season.
Edelman finished this postseason with 247 yards on 16 catches, an average of 15.4 yards per reception.
Edelman is the first Kent State alum and only the second product of an Ohio college to win the Super Bowl MVP Award. Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (Ohio State) was the other, as he brought home MVP honors in Super Bowl XLIII.
“You just had to worry about one play at a time and just keep knocking at the door,” Edelman said during his postgame press conference. “Yes, it is about being resilient and just keep on working. That’s what our group did.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”