By Allen Moff | Staff Writer
Kent State has added some major star power to make its 3rd annual Athletics Scholarship Auction the best one yet.
Julian Edelman, a former star quarterback for the Golden Flashes, who is currently a standout wide receiver for the New England Patriots, will co-host the 2014 event that is set for Friday, April 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on center court of the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.
In addition, the live auction will feature the opportunity to win dinner for two with Kent State alumnus and legendary college football coach Lou Holtz.
"Our annual scholarship auction is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the athletic, academic and social success of our student-athletes," said KSU Senior Associate Athletic Director/Executive Director of Athletic Advancement Matthew Geis. "We are pleased with the show of support to date by our department, campus and community."
According to Geis, 250 tickets have already been sold for this year's auction -- up from 180 in 2013. The athletic department's goal is to sell 300 tickets, and Geis is confident that it will be reached.
Edelman started at quarterback for the Flashes from 2006-08. He rushed for 2,483 yards and passed for 4,997 yards and 30 touchdowns during his collegiate career, and set a single-season school record by piling up 3,190 total yards (1,820 passing, 1,370 rushing) as a senior in 2008.
Edelman was taken in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Patriots and was converted to wide receiver. He has developed into one of the league's top performers at wideout despite standing just 5-foot-10, collecting 174 catches for 1,770 yards and 10 touchdowns during his five-year pro career.
After catching 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six scores a year ago, Edelman became a free agent, but chose to stay with New England. He signed a four-year deal last month with a maximum value of $19 million that includes a $5 million signing bonus and $1 million guaranteed in 2014.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to the Kent State University campus," said Edelman. "I spent some great years there. It's an important place in my life, and playing football for the Golden Flashes was the springboard to my career in the NFL. I'm happy that I can help the athletic department by being a part of this year's scholarship auction."
All event proceeds support student-athlete scholarships, and last year's auction generated over $30,000 in scholarship support. This year's goal is to top $50,000.
The Athletics Scholarship Auction will feature over 100 silent and live auction items, including trips to Naples (Fla.), Lake Tahoe and Cabo San Lucas, a bus trip with sideline passes for the Kent State at Ohio State football game set for Sept. 13 in Columbus, and a 1972 football helmet signed by former KSU star player and current Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
There will also be a raffle that evening for a two-week trip for four to Hawaii, complete with accommodations and a $500 airfare voucher. Only 75 tickets for this raffle will be sold at the price of $100 each, and they will be available for purchase 10 days prior to the event.
The reception and silent auction begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a strolling dinner at 7:30 p.m. and a live auction at 9 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person and are limited. They can be reserved by calling Erich Karthan at 330-672-2078 or by visiting www.supportgoldenflashes.com.
• Sophomore Nick Holley and junior Tristin Boykin are getting major reps at running back during practice sessions this spring, while senior Trayion Durham recovers from offseason foot surgery. Holley made several plays during Wednesday morning's practice.
"We're gonna wear those two guys out," said KSU offensive coordinator Brian Rock. "Tristin and Nick Holley have been taking the majority of the reps, and I think both of them have a chance to be good players."
Durham was originally ruled out of spring practices, but is progressing well and may see some action before the spring ends.
• The Flashes have only two quarterbacks on scholarship in camp, returning starter Colin Reardon (redshirt sophomore) and redshirt freshman Nathan Strock, but Rock is high on both signal-callers.
"I think (Reardon's) done a good job of seeing things. The difference I see right now is he was worried about doing his job (last year), and now he understands a little bit more about the whole picture, which is a really good step to take. And Nate Strock shows some really good signs out there. He can sling it, he can run. I'm excited about those two."
• Sophomore cornerback Najee Murray, who joined the team midway through last year, but could not play after transferring from Ohio State, took snaps with the first team on Wednesday.
• Former Kent State speedster Dri Archer worked out for scouts from Indianapolis last week in Kent, and was scheduled to visit Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier