If the physicality of the practices for this year’s Army All-American Bowl are any indication of which team is in line to win Saturday’s contest, the East squad should be favored to win by double digits. The bone-jarring hits that have taken place during the spirited sessions have often drawn grimaces from those merely watching the action. The defensive front seven has set a fierce tone all week, and Edgewater Florida LB/S Lorenzo Edwards has been one of the key contributors. His speed has allowed him to compensate for his inexperience in the box, and he has enjoyed the challenge of tackling something new.
“The week has been great,” Edwards said. “We have been going full pads since Monday, and the competition has risen ever since. I take everything as a learning experience. I really want to play safety and the (college) coaches are recruiting me for safety, but if there is a sudden change and I have to move to linebacker, I’d already have experience from here.”
Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and Clemson are still hoping to add the youngster’s versatility to their roster, and recent rumors suggested that three of those schools stood the best chance of walking away with his signature. That, however, is not quite the impression the youngster would like to have lingering in cyberspace at the moment.
“My coach kind of made a mistake about what he thinks was my top three,” he said. “I sat down with my parents and I just thought it would be the right thing to do to acknowledge all of my top five schools… so add Georgia Tech and Clemson to the list.”
Michigan had been one of the schools thought to be on the outside looking in as well, but that is not the case according to Edwards. A positive experience on his official visit and conversations with his former teammate and current Wolverine Greg Mathews have helped keep the Maize & Blue in the thick of consideration.
“(The visit) was great,” recalled Edwards. “The academics were great. They had it line… the coaches and the players. I had a great time.”
“I talked to Greg when he was down here and we call each other,” he continued. “He was like, ‘I’m biased… I’m going to tell you to come to Michigan, but I want you to make the decision for yourself.”
One thing Edwards hasn’t discussed with Mathews is Monday’s Rose Bowl loss to USC. The convincing defeat might be looked upon negatively by some recruits, but Edwards views it differently.
“I didn’t get to see much of the game because when we got out of practice I was dead tired,” Edwards said. “I look at it like it’s an opportunity. Whatever mistakes the defense made or the offense made, that’s an opportunity for someone to come up and play, and not make those mistakes. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Take it as a learning experience.”
Despite all positive words Edwards still offers regarding all of the schools on his list, the recent revelation that he has arrived at a decision makes it clear that at least one school has risen to the top. While he obviously wouldn’t divulge which school that is, he did shed light on what the overriding factor was for the winning program.
“Academics,” he said. “I want to major in architecture. To me, football is my back up plan. I want to go to school and get my education. I kind of made a promise to my mom that I would go to school for four years and get my degree before I enter the draft.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Edwards throughout the week, including
his Saturday announcement.