When Duke safety Evrett Edwards made the decision to graduate in three years and depart as an immediately eligible graduate transfer, he heard from a friend who had played for Jon Heacock at Youngstown State.
Edwards researched Heacock, now the defensive coordinator at Iowa State.
“[He] told me about how likeable of a coach he was and I looked him up and looked at his track record, the guys he’s coached, the guys he’s put in the League, the defense he runs and so forth,” Edwards said Sunday. “I thought it would definitely be worth checking out.”
Edwards, since he will graduate this spring in three years from Duke, will transfer to a program with two remaining years of eligibility beginning this fall. He had already visited Troy and Maryland (unofficially) and added Iowa State to that list after Heacock and Matt Campbell liked what they saw and offered him.
Given its 4-2-5 defensive scheme, Iowa State made attempts to bolster the safety and cornerback positions with the 2016 class and Edwards would fit the mold as another potential immediate impact player.
“Coach Heacock and Coach Campbell said they liked what they saw [and] I definitely would be able to come in and help the team,” Edwards said. “The defense, I really picked it up very quickly. It was the same defense I was a part of here at Duke University. I understood it like the back of my hand. The only difference was there was less runner responsibility for the two-high guy.
“I got to sit down and pick Coach Heacock’s brain a little bit about the defense just trying to figure out how I would fit in and I sat down with Coach Campbell and had a wonderful time with him talking about Iowa State and his plans for the program and where I would fit in.”
The 5-foot-11 Edwards, who was ranked as the No. 79 overall cornerback when he committed to Duke out of high school in the 2013 class, redshirted his freshman year before playing in 12 games (216 snaps) the next two seasons, recording 20 tackles, one interception and two pass breakups.
Iowa State sees Edwards at safety, though he is versatile.
Edwards, who wants to get involved with politics after football, is hearing from a number of schools and will visit Utah State this weekend before eventually getting on a full, official visit to Maryland. His decision is expected to come in the next few weeks.
“I actually have a lot of schools reaching out to me now that everybody is finished with spring ball,” Edwards said of his recruitment. “It’s actually kind of at a point where it’s too many to count, but I’m narrowing things down and I’m trying to make my mind up over the next few weeks in May.”
And this time around, Edwards is approaching things differently.
“The recruiting process in high school is more so an eye opening experience,” Edwards said. “I was getting told what I wanted to hear and not so much the truth whereas now I’m treating it like it’s business because I understand that college football is a business. I’ve been treating it like it’s a business, very business-minded, and trying to find the best fit for me and trying to find a defense that I’m comfortable with and trying to find coaches that I’m comfortable with and trying to find the best place for me to succeed.”