2011 Intro: Jahwan Edwards

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- Seeing Jahwan Edwards in Butler High's backfield sporting the No. 32, it's hard not to conjure up memories of Ryan Houston's high school days.

"[Edwards] is a lot like Ryan Houston was," Butler head coach Mike Newsome said. "I think Ryan did a few things better than him and he does a few things better than Ryan. [Edwards] is a harder, more punishing runner – I don't know if you can even say that about one kid when you compare him to Ryan Houston. Ryan – and he still does it today – looks for the hole and then tries to squeeze into the hole, whereas Jahwan is more of a I'm-going-to-make-a-hole type player. I think [Edwards] is definitely faster than Ryan was as a junior and senior [in high school]… He's definitely like Ryan in being a kid that can touch the ball 30 times in a game and end up with 200-250 yards rushing."

Before suiting up for North Carolina, Houston was a three-year starting running back for Butler.

In Butler's balanced, multiple-scheme spread offense that uses a one-back spread as its base, Edwards is the feature back. The 5-foot-10, 240-pounder ended his junior season with 710 yards and 14 touchdowns on 132 rushes, including 154 yards and a score on 18 carries in the NCHSAA 4AA Championship Game.

In addition to racking in the yards, Edwards punishes opposing defenses. His highlight film is chock full of plays that include him running over potential tacklers.

"I always try to not let one person bring me down," Edwards said. "…I just always try to keep my feet moving. If you want to tackle me high, you're going to pay for it. If you're going to tackle me low, you're going to pay for it."

Edwards heads into the recruiting process not favoring any schools. However, he noted an interest in following Houston's footsteps and wearing the No. 32 jersey for the Tar Heels.

"I would like to go to North Carolina and fill Ryan Houston's shoes," Edwards said. "He's been helping me along the way representing for the big running backs and I want to continue that legacy."

In addition to UNC, Edwards is receiving interest from Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Nebraska.

"A lot of coaches have been coming in, talking to me, telling me how much they like how I run north-and-south not east-and-west," Edwards said. "I think that most of the offers will come in the spring, just because there are a lot of running backs out there."

Newsome agrees.

"[Every high school] has a good running back, so I think it's a little harder to evaluate," Newsome said. "It takes recruiters a little longer to weed out the players than it does at other positions."

Because of his unique style, Edwards' recruitment will be different than most running backs.

"Right now, we're waiting for some people to look at him and find him and see what he fits into, and make some offers," Newsome said. "I think he's definitely a BCS caliber running back. I think it's going to be somebody that needs a big ‘back like him or needs a fullback that can play in one-back situations."

Only Miami has told Edwards that they are recruiting him as a fullback.

"I don't think [schools] want to tell me because they don't know how I'll react to the position they are recruiting me for," said Edwards, who is willing to play either tailback or fullback in college.

Edwards understands that he might have to hit the camp circuit this summer to land scholarship offers. He figures to camp at all the in-state schools, as well as Louisville and Rutgers.

Edwards had planned to attend junior days at Clemson and Duke. However, an illness and inclement weather, respectively, forced him to miss both.

Following the football season, Edwards is a defensive specialist for Butler's basketball team. Additionally, he plans to run track this spring to help improve his 40-yard dash time.

Jahwan Edwards Profile


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