Arkansas safety pledge Deon Edwards of Lake Minneola knows two things after this weekend’s official visit to Fayetteville - he is both wanted and needed.
Edwards (6-1, 190) was on one of three official visitors on hand this weekend along with Columbia, Mo., Rock Bridge fullback Hayden Johnson (6-4, 255) and Beaumont, Texas, Central tailback Devwah Whaley (6-0, 210).
“The visit was great,” Edwards said upon its conclusion Saturday. “I met other recruits - Hayden and the four-star running back. We all had a good time. There was a lot to show. They showed me a lot. They played a great game against Mississippi State.
“That was one of the best games I’ve ever seen with both putting up 50 something points each. They lost but they played hard so that’s what matters.”
He was fired up about the Razorback fans.
“The fans are crazy,” Edwards said. “The fans are amazing. They showed the football team so much love. The love they showed was a big part of me coming here.”
The Razorback defense gave up 508 yards passing to Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.
Edwards hopes to come in and help a defensive turnaround next season.
"I am going to come in and compete like anybody else would," Edwards said. "I wouldn't say I'm going to start as a freshman. I would love to start as a freshman. I am going to try my best to do what I can do. Wherever I end up is where I end up."
Arkansas has some vaunted defensive recruits committed, including Edwards, Hope defensive end McTelvin Agim, Star City defensive tackle Austin Capps, Metairie, La., Archbishop Rummel defensive tackle Briston Guidry and a linebacker trio of Jordan Carmouche, Alexy Jean-Baptiste and De’Jon Harris.
"Yeah, I mean, we've got a lot of defensive recruits coming in," Edwards said. “…So I feel comfortable with those people coming in. I think we can come in and make a big impact on the defense."
Redshirting freshman defensive tackle T.J. Smith was Edwards’ host on the official visit.
"Me and T.J. (Smith) had fun," Edwards said. "We went and he showed me around. He was a great host. He showed me the dorms, new people and that was a great thing for me. Me and T.J. already have a great relationship. He is like a big brother, I already look up to him.
"He told me motivational things that will keep me going. I was afraid coming here from Florida. He was like, 'Hey, I love it down here and never want to go home. The fans and everything like that."
Lake Minneola’s season ended with the regular season.
"We didn't make it to the playoffs," Edwards said. "We kind of fell off. We wasn't coming together as a team. We went 6-4. We could have done better. We beat ourselves. They didn't beat us, we just didn't come together as a team."