NFL Hero: Ex-Jets WR Braylon Edwards once offered $10,000 each to 79 college students

Braylon Edwards made a name for himself on the gridiron with his extraordinary performance. The former New York Jets wide receiver has also exemplified the transformative power of giving back by showing that a successful career in sports could be a platform for positive change.

Edwards proved that true heroes are not confined to stadiums but can emerge anywhere. While football fans had been excited with the buzz surrounding the NFL Scouting Combine, Edwards recently hit the headlines once again for his willingness to step in when others are in need, reflecting one of his early heroic initiatives.

When Braylon Edwards gave $790,000 to college students

In 2011, Braylon Edwards was the Cleveland Browns rookie. However, he made a profound impact on the lives of 79 college students across 22 campuses. His commitment to education and community shone bright as he pledged $10,000 scholarships to 100 eighth-graders in the Cleveland area. To qualify, they needed to graduate high school with a GPA over 2.5 and complete 15 hours of community service.

79 students fulfilled these criteria, and gained the opportunity to pursue higher education. Edwards and his mother established the Advance 100 program, driven by a desire to give back and share their good fortune. The success of the initiative surpassed their expectations, especially considering that only half of Cleveland public school students typically graduate high school.

Braylon Edwards
via GQ

Edwards embraced the responsibility to provide chances for others. Despite his base salary of approximately $1 million with the San Francisco 49ers, he contributed a whopping $790,000 to fulfill his commitment.

This amount covered not only the scholarships but also provided laptops and essential supplies to support the students in their academic endeavors. The recipients weren’t limited to Ohio universities, as they dispersed to prestigious institutions like Harvard, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins.

Braylon Edwards rescues 80 years old man from beating

Braylon Edwards once again proved to be a real-life hero when he intervened to save a man from a vicious assault at a YMCA in Michigan. He rescued the 80-year-old man from a brutal assault by a 25-year-old assailant on Friday.

The incident happened when the ex-NFL star entered the YMCA’s locker room and overheard a heated argument about music volume. He initially paid little attention, but the situation escalated, and the noise turned into a scuffle. He sensed the severity, and reacted when he heard a disturbing thud.

“The noise escalates, and then you can hear some pushing and shoving, so you know what fighting sounds like, but once I hear a thud, that’s when I got up and turned around… And then I see the guy for what I was thinking was reaching for a phone underneath the victim grabs the back of the victim’s head by the hair, and he was about to slam it down on the counter,” Edwards said.

Reflecting on the gravity of the situation, the veteran acknowledged the severity of the victim’s injuries. Authorities later confirmed to him that his timely intervention likely saved the victim’s life.

“I didn’t know it was that serious, I mean the victim probably had a serious concussion by nature, but It wasn’t until I talked to… [D]etective Jacobs down in Farmington who told me that if I didn’t step in but at the end of the day that’s what you do.”

This act of bravery adds another chapter to Braylon Edwards’ life beyond the football field. He was drafted as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. The football prodigy enjoyed a successful career spanning eight seasons. He showcased his talents not only with the Browns but also with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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