For Defensive Tackle Javier Edwards Becoming a Gator was a Long Time Coming

Javier Edwards made the decision to pledge to Florida on Friday, however, it was a decision 20 years in the making. The JUCO defenisve tackle from Texas discusses his decision to commit to the Gators with

Javier Edwards is a Gator. The JUCO defensive lineman from Texas made his decision to commit to Jim McElwain on Thursday, right after landing an offer from UF. 

"I talked to the whole defensive staff, and then coach McElwain asked me if I wanted to be a Gator, and I said yes sir and everyone just went crazy," said Edwards. "It's a wonderful feeling. It feels awesome. It feels great." 

Although his decision seemed quick to an outsider, it was actually a decision he made when he was just eight years-old. 

"I am confident in my decision," he said.  "I've been thinking about this for about 20 years. I've been a Gators fans since I was eight. I've always thought about it. I went on a trip to Florida, and we passed by the school, and I fell in love with the school. My  cousin is a big Gator fan since when we went down to Florida. 

"The SEC, I love the blue and orange uniforms. Orange is my favorite color. I just loved it. Tim Tebow and that little era was just amazing," he added. "[My mom] always knew from a child because I always talked about Florida. I wanted to play at Florida. UT was my favorite school, but everyone wanted to go to UT, and I wanted to do something different. I just wasn't feeling it anymore. I wanted to be a Gator, and I was going to work to get there."

Edwards is not a small guy. "352-pounds to be exact," joked Edwards. It was his size that intrigued defensive line coach, Chris Rumph, and the rest of the UF staff. 

"They needed some big guys to play in the middle, and I was a big guy and I was good," he said. "They need me to come in and play and do some good things for them." 

After Edwards' commitment, Rumph tweeted, "beds in the dorms just went on strike." The Texas native had a good laugh about it. 

"I love when a coach is outgoing like that. I can joke with them and I don't have to be uptight with him. I love having fun," he said. "He was recruiting me when he was at UT. Our relationship so far so good."

With one goal checked off his list, Edwards has a few more when he arrives at The Swamp. 

"Get rings for the team. Thats all it is, it's getting rings. Thats all it is to say about that," he said.  "We are getting rings. We are going to win games and I know that for a fact. My dream is reaching to the next level. I have to do it, I've worked too hard not to go that far." 

A dream twenty years in the making is soon coming to pass. 

"I really decided I wanted to play SEC football, when a bunch of schools said that he can't play in the Big 12 because he was too big. He can't handle the spread office," said Edwards. "That just put a chip on my shoulder and turned on a switch. I said I was going to play in the SEC and prove them wrong." 

Edwards hopes to enroll at Florida in January 2017.


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