vs. Oklahoma State
What: Heart of Dallas Bowl
When: Noon, Jan. 1
Where: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas
FORT WAYNE — Antavian Edison caught a pass from Rob Henry for 1 yard on Oct. 9, 2010 against Northwestern.
And with that, the streak began.
Edison caught at least one pass for Purdue in 31 straight games. The run ended this season on Nov. 17 against Illinois. But in that game he recovered an onside kick in a 20-17 victory.
Edison said he didn’t pay too much attention to the streak. The senior was just focused on helping the Boilermakers win.
“I wasn’t really keeping up with it,” Edison said after a recent Purdue practice. “I heard the hype, but it’s a really good accomplishment.”
Edison is proud of another accomplishment, helping the Boilermakers get to a bowl game for the second straight season.
Purdue faces Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1 at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
The 5-foot-11 Fort Myers, Fla., native leads Purdue this season in receptions (57), receiving yards (625) and touchdown catches (eight). He is fifth in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.8) and is ninth in receiving yards per game (52.1).
During the streak, Edison caught 124 passes for 1,475 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“He brings leadership,” Purdue junior wide receiver O.J. Ross said. “He brings excitement. He’s a great guy overall. He brings a positive attitude toward the team and that’s what we needed.”
Edison and Ross are part of a receiving group that has helped the Boilermakers average 240.7 passing yards this season. That figure is third in the Big Ten.
“We’ve got a lot of talent. It comes in all shapes and sizes,” Edison said. “We’ve got big guys who can catch it over your head and we’ve got small guys who can run past you. All of us run good routes, we can block on the edge. We’re a brotherhood. We’re team players. We’re all for each other.”
Edison is in the top 20 in Purdue all-time lists for career touchdowns (tied for ninth with 16) and receptions (18th with 134). The health and fitness major said he has grown on and off the field.
“I’ve enjoyed every experience that I’ve had here,” Edison said. “They made sure they installed that academics come first. I grew on that. I was a big football player coming in, but I grew on that … I needed to get bigger. And I needed to work on my blocking on the edge. And off the field stuff – being in class, doing all your work on time – they taught me well here.”
Edison is proud that his last Purdue game will be a New Year’s Day bowl.
“It shows the improvement that we’ve made to be able to make it to a better bowl,” Edison said. “… Everybody is going to be watching. We’re the first Big Ten team (of the day), so we’re trying to represent well. I’m very excited.”