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William Edward "Eddie" Royal (born May 21, 1986 in Alexandriamarker, Virginiamarker) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He played college football for the Virginia Tech Hokies and intramural football at Paul VI Catholic High Schoolmarker .

High school career

Royal first attended Paul VI Catholic High Schoolmarker and South Lakes High Schoolmarker before going to Westfield High Schoolmarker in Chantilly, Virginiamarker, where he played for most of his high school football career. He received All-America honors from PrepStar and SuperPrep (who named Royal the top college player in the state of Virginia). While a senior at Westfield High School, Royal, along with future Virginia Tech teammate Sean Glennon and future Penn State running back Evan Royster, led his team to an undefeated season record (14-0) in the Virginia Division 6 AAA State Championship.

College career


Royal received freshman All-America honors from The NFL Draft Report after hauling in 28 passes for 470 yards (16.8 avg.) with three touchdowns in 12 games (11 starts) as a true freshman… Returned 25 punts for 274 yards (11.0 avg.) and gained 346 yards on 12 kickoff returns (28.8 avg.) and totaled 1,101 all-purpose yards.


Royal started all 13 games as a sophomore, finishing third on Virginia Techmarker with 27 receptions for 315 yards (11.7 avg.) with two scores while adding 10 rushes for 79 yards with one touchdown .He returned 32 punts for 263 yards (8.2 avg.) and 14 kickoffs for 293 yards (20.9 avg.) to account for 950 all-purpose yards .


Royal played 13 games (9 starts) during his junior year and picked up second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors while being named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated .Royal caught 31 passes for 497 yards (16.0 avg.) with three touchdowns , he led the ACC and ranked 12th in the nation with a 13.2-yard punt return average (23-304) with one touchdown . he added 431 yards on 19 kickoff returns (22.7 avg.) and five rushes for 24 yards . He threw a 53-yard touchdown on a trick play against Georgia Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl . Royal finished with 1,256 all-purpose yards (96.7 ypg.).


He played 13 games with 11 starts , earning first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors and second-team All-America accolades from The NFL Draft Report , he posted career highs in receptions (33-496) and receiving touchdowns (4).Led the ACC and ranked 10th in the nation with a 14.7-yard punt return average (31-455) and scored two touchdowns on punt returns . He Added 14 kickoff returns for 316 yards (22.6 avg.) and eight rushes for 112 yards (14.0 avg.) . Finished with 1,379 all-purpose yards (106.1 ypg.), he finished first in career all-purpose yards in school history (4,686), fourth in career receptions (119), fifth in receiving touchdowns (12) and sixth in receiving yards (1,778). He was also the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) all-time leader in punt return yards (1,296). Royal received second-team All-ACC honors in 2006 and first-team All-ACC honors in 2007 .The Hokies won the Coastal division and secured a bid the 2007 ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville, Floridamarker , there, they faced a rematch with Boston Collegemarker , champions of the Atlantic Division . Matt Ryan was unable to seize the victory with Two fourth-quarter interceptions , sealed the Hokie win and an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl game . Royal finished the game with 4 receptions , 63 yards and 1 TD . He also played in the 2008 Orange Bowl . Royal majored in sociology .

Professional career

Rookie season

Royal was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Royal started and played in his first NFL regular season game on September 8, 2008, in a 41-14 road win over the Oakland Raiders. He caught nine balls for 146 yards and one touchdown in his debut; Royal's 146 receiving yards were the most by any wide receiver in the first week of the 2008 NFL regular season. His nine receptions were the most by a rookie making his debut for the Broncos. Royal's first career touchdown catch came in the first quarter of the game on a 26-yard pass from former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. Royal's opening week performance yielded voters on to select him as the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week out of five finalists.

In Royal's second game of the season, he caught five passes for 37 yards and one touchdown, as part of a 39-38 Broncos home win over the San Diego Chargers. His touchdown catch came with 24 seconds left in the game on a 4th and 4 from San Diego's four-yard-line. The catch made the score 38-37 Chargers; however, the Broncos subsequently went for a two-point conversion, in which Royal caught a pass from Cutler, thus, giving the Broncos a one-point victory. In Week 10, a game in which the Broncos defeated the Cleveland Browns on the road in comeback fashion, 34-30, Royal caught six passes for 164 yards, including a 93-yard touchdown pass. The performance earned him the honor of Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for the second time in his career.

On November 30, 2008, in a 34-17 Broncos road victory over the New York Jets, Royal set a franchise record for most touchdowns (5) and receiving yards (757) for a rookie in one season after catching five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Eddie's 91 receptions are second most in NFL history for a rookie, behind only Anquan Boldin who had 101. His 980 yards and five touchdowns are both Broncos rookie records. He was seventh in the league among wide receivers in receptions, and sixth in the NFL in total yards.

2009-2010 season

On 19th October 2009, Royal became the first player in Broncos history, and only the 11th player to date in National Football League history, to return a kickoff (93 yards) and a punt (71 yards) for touchdowns in the same game, leading undefeated Denver to a 34-23 win over the San Diego Chargers


Royal is the younger brother of Arena Football League wide receiver/defensive back, Chris Royal

Awards and honors

  • 2-time Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week - Weeks 1 and 10 (2008)
  • First-team All-ACC (2007)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2006)
  • AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (2009)
  • AFC Special Teams Player of the Month (October 2009)


  2. Denver Broncos Select WR Eddie Royal in 2nd Round BroncoTalk. Retrieved on 2008-04-27
  4. Royal named Week 1 Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week
  7. Royal voted Week 10 Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week
  9. Bernie Wilson, AP sports writer, “Royal's TD returns help Broncos top Chargers 34-23” The Denver Post, October 20, 2009, retrieved October 20, 2009

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