Inside The Bills

Edgerson perhaps closest to Saban

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2009 – 7:28 pm

If there was one Bills player that was closest with the recently passed Lou Saban it was Booker Edgerson. Edgerson knew Saban since he himself was an 18-year old collegian at Western Illinois.

Saban coached him in college before later signing him to the Bills as an undrafted free agent with Buffalo in 1962.

“He was a father figure in a way for me,” said Edgerson. “Because he caught me at a young age.”

And he challenged Edgerson early.

“He told me that I really wasn’t worthy of being on the football team at Western Illinois because I was totally out of shape. But he saw the ability that I had and he told me, ‘You need to get yourself in shape in order for me to play you on this team.’ So I got myself in shape and the rest is history.”

Edgerson and his old teammates from college held a 50th reunion for their undefeated team of 1959, which was coached by Saban last spring and Saban was in attendance.

“We were undefeated in ’59 and we lost just once in ’58,” said Edgerson. “And a lot of those guys I had not seen in 50 years. And a lot of those guys had not seen coach Saban in 50 years. Everybody was very happy to see him. No one knew it would be our last time, but we had a great weekend all being back together.”

Edgerson was spending Monday trying to get a flight down to South Carolina to be in attendance for the funeral services for Saban.

“He was an inspirational person to me,” said Edgerson. “I don’t know where I would’ve been without him. My life is totally blessed because of him.”

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