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Edgerson ready for Wall of Fame honor


In recent years the Bills Wall of Fame has been adding names from Buffalo's storied AFC title teams of the early 1990's. Names like Smith, Tasker, Reed, Thomas, Ritcher, Talley, Hull and Kelly. But the Wall of Fame voting committee reached deeper into the Bills championship past naming cornerback Booker Edgerson the 26th member of the Bills Wall of Fame.

"I think it's a great honor," said Edgerson. "It's something I'm very, very proud of. I'm being put on a wall with some very distinguished football players."

Edgerson will see his name unveiled on the Bills Wall of Fame this Sunday at halftime of Buffalo's Week 4 tilt with the New York Jets. The former cornerback is the first former AFL Bills player to be named to the Wall since his former teammate George Saimes was added back in 2000 along with Bob Kalsu.

"To me it was a blessing because they reached way back," he said. "I always liked to think that either Butch (Byrd) or myself would be up there, but I never dwelled on it."

A former undrafted free agent Edgerson was an instant impact player for Buffalo's defense. He led the team in interceptions with six in 1962, and was named to the AFL All-Rookie team. He went on to earn AFL All-Star honors in Buffalo's repeat championship season of 1965 when he logged five interceptions.

Edgerson was productive throughout his Bills career adding four more interceptions in 1968, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had a career-high four fumble recoveries in 1969, which was his final season in Buffalo.

The Western Illinois University product still stands tied for seventh on the team's all-time list in interceptions with 23.

When asked what he'll be thinking about when his name is unveiled for all time, Edgerson cited his effort despite the circumstances of the time that fell far short of the training methods of today.

"Accomplishment, dedication, hard work," Edgerson said. "I've always said you work hard, but I don't think necessarily that I worked the hardest I could and played the way they play today because football was different in those times, and you didn't have the training aspect to give you that impetus to be able to go out and really perform at your best. But we did the best we could and I did the best I could."

After his playing career was over Edgerson settled in Western New York and still lives in the Buffalo area today. Now 70, he's currently serving as President of the Bills Alumni Association.

A member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, Edgerson was also a recipient of the Ralph Wilson Distinguished Service Award, but in his mind those honors won't compare when his name is revealed on the Bills Wall of Fame.

"It ranks number one at this point," he said. "I had eight years here in Buffalo, two years in Denver, but the bulk of my time was in Buffalo, and I chose Buffalo to be my home, so this ranks at the top."

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