Edwards going after a Job

Leave it to me to choose five defensive players to watch for week one and have one of them (Torrey Davis) not even on the roster and a long shot to see the football field anytime soon. Well another of my guys, sophomore linebacker Lorenzo Edwards is living up to his billing as he challenges A.J. Jones for the starting spot at the "Sam" position.

Lorenzo Edwards is listed at 6-2, 232, while Jones appears on the roster as 6-1, 225, but to look at them they seem very different. Jones is long and lean, looking more like a free safety, while Edwards is a thicker, broad shouldered man who may help the Gators be a more equal physical match at that spot.

Edwards was a safety at Edgewater High School in Orlando but struggled with the transition to linebacker during his first season at UF. He saw very little time on defense, but did appear on special teams in a half dozen games.

After the first practice of the fall Edwards spoke with media guys, including me about his switch from the weak side to lining up on the tight end and his desire to do a lot more than appear on special teams this fall.

MG: What has the switch to "Sam" been like?

LE: Well during the spring most of my plays were made on the outside and containing so we made that switch right out of the spring.

MG: How do you feel out there?

LE: It's just another adjustment I have to make. It's gone pretty well and I feel like I'm catching on well so it should be all right.

MG: Do you feel like it's time for you to make an impact?

LE: It has to be, because I got one year under my belt and I have to produce either on special teams or on defense. I'm not going to sit back and let "nothing" happen. I'm going to work hard and try my best and hopefully it'll pay off.

LV: How tough was last year for you just playing a little special teams and almost nothing on defense?

LE: It was really tough as a freshman because my coaches had high hopes for me as well as my family. To contribute as little as I did was a disappointment not only to them but to me as well. So it kinda hurt me a little bit.

LV: What have you done to get ready for this opportunity?

LE: I've gotten stronger and faster. This position change can also hopefully make me a better player as well.

LV: You certainly seem to have more physicality than the others competing at this position. Is that something that you think gives you an edge?

LE: Yes sir. At high school that's basically what I did; cover the tight end as the strong safety. So I have a little bit more experience and a better mentality towards the "Sam" position.

From the first time I saw him on the field last fall I felt the SLB position was the right spot for Edwards. It'll be interesting to see if he does, indeed take advantage of this position switch to add a little muscle to what was an undersized linebacking corps.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel

Fightin Gators Top Stories