19/07/2017 6:44 PM AEST | Updated 19/07/2017 6:44 PM AEST

This NFL Star's Teacher Took 11 Years To Apologise For Doubting Him

And how wrong they were about Julian Edelman.

Who's having the last laugh now?
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Who's having the last laugh now?

Eleven years is a long time to hold onto anything, let alone the regret of telling a future U.S. National Football League (NFL) star his goal of making it big as an athlete wasn't "realistic" -- but that's exactly the situation one Californian college teacher has found themself in.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is not exactly the biggest player to have ever taken to an NFL field and, at 5'10" tall and just over 90kg, it seems the 31-year-old's 2006 English teacher at the College of San Mateo (CSM) never believed he was going to become a star.

At least, that's according to a letter Edelman posted to Twitter on Tuesday from his former teacher, apologising for scoffing at his aspirations more than a decade ago.

"You made some comment about 'going to the league' and I said something about setting realistic goals, about how few people enter the ranks of the professional athlete," the letter said.

"How could I ever have doubted your tenacity and grit is beyond me... I am sorry for wedging my foot so firmly in my mouth that day."

Edelman only spent a year at CSM, although between 2005 and 2006 he managed to notch up more than 30 touchdowns to his name and break a record at the college before moving onto Kent State University.

In 2009 he was named as the 232nd Draft Pick for the Patriots and the rest, as they say, is history -- including two Super Bowl wins and a partnership with famed quarterback Tom Brady that has resulted in Edelman making more than 4,500 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Oh, and this absolute cracking catch from Super Bowl LI in February that basically handed the Patriots the win.

So what is the lesson from all of this? Well, Edelman summed it up himself -- "Set your goals high. Do whatever it takes to achieve them."