Julian Edelman has been a teammate of Tom Brady’s for seven years now. But his admiration for the New England Patriots quarterback began long before that.

Edelman, who, like Brady, grew up in the Bay Area, recently said in an interview with August Man magazine that he would play as No. 12 during recess back in middle school.

“I’m a product of the late ’80s, early ’90s, the Bill Walsh era at the San Fransisco 49ers — so being a Patriot in a town like Boston reminds me of that golden era of football,” the Patriots wide receiver said, via WEEI.com. “I remember being in eighth grade and pretending to be Tom Brady at recess, and now I am teammates and friends with Tom Brady. We held up the Vince Lombardi trophy together. So yeah, playing for the New England Patriots has been my greatest achievement. It has been the highlight of my life, no doubt.”

While that timeline might not match up — Brady didn’t start his first game for the Patriots until Edelman’s freshman year of high school — we’ll take the wideout’s word for it.

In the same interview, Edelman also discussed why he believes Boston is the perfect city for him.

“Becoming a Bostonian has been unbelievable,” Edelman said. “It has been an incredible place to live and play a sport I love. Boston is a gritty, tough town and a perfect match for me coming from a blue-collar, humble background myself.

“I love that in Boston the year isn’t broken up by seasons, like fall and summer. It’s broken up by sport: basketball season, football season, hockey season and baseball season. Think about it, other big market cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles or New York have other industries. They have tech and real estate and Hollywood and fashion. Boston has sports, that’s it.”

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Oct 29, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a touchdown pass to wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports