The Edwards Connection (Part 1)

Because each GBW Magazine is limited to about 35 pages, we've gathered a lot of content for our first two issues that hasn't made it to print. I sat down with Stan and Braylon Edwards a while back for an interview, much of which can be found in the issue that comes out Aug. 1st. Some of the rest will be featured here over the next few days.

Braylon Edwards' dad, former Michigan great, Stan Edwards, spoke a lot about getting his son started in track as a youngster in yet another interview I conducted with him in March. For those that missed that, click here.

In this portion of my most recent interview, Stan talked about Braylon's physical development in high school and begins to discuss how he caught Michigan's attention.

Braylon was somewhat of a sleeper recruit coming out of high school. How did he fly under the radar so long?

"There are some things that you need to know about Braylon. And I use Reggie Williams, Charles Rogers and Randy Moss in the same breath. Those kids went to high school at 6'2, 6'3, 6'4. Those kids got tall early. Braylon went to high school at 5'8, left high school at 6'2 ½, and now he is 6'3 ½. The point is that Braylon didn't have the opportunity in high school to put up the numbers like those guys did because he was going through a growth spurt. And he also didn't have the motor skills to control his body early on like we wish he would have. His growth spurt started to slow down going into his junior year. Having said that, we knew that it was a big gamble when we moved him from King high school to Bishop Gallagher. Bishop Gallagher had a better passing attack, and Bishop Gallagher had a quarter back that was coming back who had already had an All-State wide receiver Braylon's junior year by the name of Markus Curry. Plus, Darnell Hood (whom was already at Gallagher) had already run for me on my track team, so I did already know a little bit about the program. So I knew he had to move to a place where someone could get him the football, first and foremost. Secondly, we had to move him to a place where they had to rely on him somewhat. The gamble with moving him over there was that he had never played defense a day in his life. Bishop Gallagher had 16 kids total on the team and only 11 of them play, so he was going to have to play both ways. That was one of the things that he was going to have to endure. Coach George Sahadi had a lot to do with Braylon becoming a very physical wide receiver. He taught them how to be physical. The technique it takes to keep his butt down, hitting on the rise, keeping his face up and squaring up and making contact, things they had never been taught before. It was never that he couldn't do certain things, but if you don't know what you are doing, football is a very painful game!"

Braylon skies for the ball during Outback bowl practices.

So when did Michigan start to notice him?

"When Braylon transferred over to Gallagher, I never told George Sahadi what type of player he was. He needed bodies and Braylon was about 6'1, 6'2 at the time so he said, ‘of course we'll take him,.. he will probably be the tallest kid on the team.' Sahadi had enough confidence that no matter what Braylon's skill level was, he could teach him how to play. After a few weeks of practicing in their gym, Sahadi looked at his coaches and said, ‘look what we have here!' George Sahadi called up Michigan's recruiting coordinator, Bobby Morrison and said, ‘hey why aren't you guys recruiting Braylon Edwards?' Bobby Morrison said, ‘well hey, he isn't fast enough.' Braylon then went over to a combine in Canada and ran a 4.5 40 and caught everything in sight. Andy Moeller, called Jim Herman and said, ‘we have got to get on Braylon Edwards.' In fairness to Bobby Morrison, his evaluation of Braylon was correct. Braylon wasn't fast enough when they saw him previously. But by the time he went to the combine in Windsor, he had gotten a lot of his speed back. Braylon had lost a lot of his speed when he was going through his growth spurt. He had also just come off of knee surgery. He was probably a 4.6 or 4.7 going into his junior year. So Bobby was correct at the time."

More tomorrow

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