Their common link is obvious. Both Trent Edwards and John Elway were highly recruited quarterbacks coming out of high school and both wound up choosing Stanford to play their college ball. Though the two barely knew each other the university they shared in common was all they needed.
"It goes back to going to Stanford and everyone knows everyone," said Edwards. "It seems like the guys at the top of a lot of businesses are Stanford grads and then there are a lot of Olympic athletes. There's that Stanford connection once you get your degree from there and you're in that crowd, you're able to build relationships with fellow alumni."
Edwards had first met the Hall of Fame quarterback after playing a game in college that Elway happened to attend. The meeting was brief, but for Edwards it was big.
"He was a guy I definitely loved watching growing up," said Edwards of Elway. "I watched tapes of him when he played at Stanford and I watched him play for the Broncos for a long time. I always admired the way he carried himself and performed and obviously he could fling the football around pretty good."
Before Edwards' college career was over he would run into Elway again at a golf tournament.
"That was the first time I spent an extended amount of time with him," said Edwards.
The two signal callers got along well with one another talking golf and football. Edwards and Elway have a mutual friend that played baseball with Elway at Stanford, which helped to facilitate the opportunity for the two quarterbacks to hang out during the offseason. They also have a couple of other mutual friends.
"We played in that Wayne Gretzky (golf) tournament in Collinwood and John's partner at the time was a Nationwide tour player that I'm good friends with and so it kind of worked out great where we could all hang out after rounds and spend some time together," said Edwards.
Edwards doesn't try to pump Elway for information about the game, but if the finer points of playing quarterback happen to surface in the course of conversation he's all ears.
Last season after Edwards' strong second half performance that helped lead Buffalo to a comeback win over Denver in Week 16, he met up with Elway that evening after the game.
"I caught up with him after the Denver game," said Edwards. "We got snowed in and spent a little time together there. He was kind of rooting for both teams. He was wearing neutral colors. It was fun seeing him after that game."
Edwards clearly reveres Elway and what he has accomplished in his NFL career. He doesn't necessarily try to model himself after the Hall of Fame quarterback, but does try to incorporate certain parts of what made Elway so successful into his own game.
"He's a very confident and humble person," said Edwards. "I put him and (Brett) Favre in the same category. A guy that will make plays with that rocket arm and will compete his butt off. That's kind of what I remember just hanging out with him whether it's on the golf course or football. That's what I took away from being with John."