Julian Edelman may be the Patriots most reliable wide receiver, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots as a quarterback. He also hasn’t forgotten what it was like to be so passionate about football that he dedicated his life to it.
He never faced any obstacles based in bias in his drive to become a high school and collegiate quarterback, but he heard about one seventh grader in New Hampshire who did while wearing his No. 11 jersey. Now he’s made her a very surprised and gracious Super Bowl guest.
As reported by Seacoast Online, Dejah Rondeau is a seventh-grade quarterback in Exeter, New Hampshire. She ascended to the starting role for the Exeter Seahawks after the season’s initial starter was injured and led her team to the playoffs.
Despite her success, she was met with bullying at school for being a girl playing football with boys. While she refused to give in to peer pressure to quit, Rondeau’s parents were still unnerved by the experience.
“Some people don’t want to accept a female quarterback. She’ll have to put in 110 percent when others are putting in 50,” Rondeau’s mother Nichole Brock told Seacoast Online. “But Dejah becoming the quarterback is the best thing that could happen to her. She’s worked really hard at it.”
The Patriots brass caught wind of Rondeau’s struggle and arranged for her to visit Foxboro and tour the team’s trophy room. She also got the chance to throw a football around with Edelman, her favorite player.
And then Edelman made the biggest surprise delivery, offering Rondeau the chance to attend the Super Bowl with tickets from the team.
“I heard about your story, about going out there and having a challenge, of dealing with adversity because people not accepting this, that,” Edelman told Rondeau, as you can see in the video above. “My respect level for you is just through the roof because you just ignored all the noise and you played the game we all love and that’s football.”
Now she’ll get the chance to see her favorite player and favorite team play for the Lombardi Trophy. It may not be quite as exciting as lining up in shotgun herself, but it will definitely be one of the most memorable Sundays she spends watching football.