You might hear the name, Edward Britton and utter "who?". Well, if that's the case, chances are you are outside of the Lonestar state. And, if you are from the far Western region around El Paso, you are more than familiar with the name. If you had been one of the teams to face Britton lately, he's probably still in your nightmares. Well, Edward is back for one more go around, but this time, he'll probably have a national audience in tow.
And as the country stood in awe of the number one ranked back in the country, there was this other back making a little noise of his own. In fact, if you compare Peterson's numbers his junior year to that of Britton's, you might be surprised at just how close these two seem to be.
During Peterson's Junior year, he averaged 8.3 yards per carry, rushing the ball for a total of 2,051 yards, scoring 22 times. During Britton's Junior year, Edward averaged 8.5 yards per carry, rushing the ball for a total of 2,172 yards, scoring 22 times.
In addition, Peterson is said to be 6' 1 ½" while Britton is supposed to now measure right in at 6'1". Adrian Peterson has been reported as having run a handheld 4.4 forty. So to has Edward Britton.
So, what's the difference? Why is it that Peterson is a household name and Britton someone that you can't recall even once?
Part of it has to do with where Montwood high school is, located just a breath north of the border of Mexico far to the most western part of the state. Despite the almost 3,000 students enrolled at Montwood, the competition in that region isn't exactly what Peterson himself was used to facing.
While Palestine resides almost smack dab between Dallas and Houston, having a bevy of great teams to contend with, Montwood finds itself located in the never-never land of Texas high school football, taking on true powers whenever they have a chance.
You might think that would in and of itself make Britton's name fall even farther off the radar, not having to face those kind of elite squads from around the state of Texas. That would be true, but whether it's consistently or not, Britton has capitalized when facing some of the best.
Enter, Midland high school.
If you are from Texas, ‘nuff said. Midlland is year in and year out a solid team even when they are down and the permian basin in which they reside, well, again, people from Texas know what I am talking about. It was this team that Britton not only faced, but almost singlehandedly trounced, tallying over 330 yards on the ground, scoring three touchdowns.
As Montwood head coach, Chuck Valiz said of that performance, it was Edward Britton at his best. "He did it all that night." Valiz stated. "He hit the holes fast, got to the corners quick, played physical when he had to. Edward was on his game, but we've gotten used to expecting a lot out of him."
The expectations probably top the already impressive 224 yards per game Britton averaged on the ground last year and 50 yards every time he returned a punt. But still, the attention for Britton will probably not come anywhere near that of what Peterson garnered, which suits Britton just fine. "If it takes away from the team, that's not something I want." Edward said. "We win together, we lose together. Whatever I do out there is just part of everyone trying to win the game."
That's something that will be expected this year as Montwood brings back 9 starters on offense. That's also something that you'd thing bring a big beaming smile of confidence on Britton's face as he ponders just what might be.
Nope. Uh-uh - Edward Britton isn't wired like that.
"If I run for 1 yard and we win, I'm happy." he said. "The numbers, they aren't anything more than what has to be done to win the game. As long as we have that win, I just don't care what kind of yards I had. I want to be part of a winner, not thought of as THE winner."
Britton's is soft-spoken, but when he does speak, it's in a definite and articulate manner. More proud of his GPA than he is his YPG, Britton is an admitted "geek". So much so, that his 1160 SAT prompts only one thought - retest. "I have to retake it." Edward said. "All my friends have 1400 or higher. So, I am going to retake it when I have a chance."
With all his silky moves and blistering speed, you might think that Britton looks at himself a physical-type back that can make a move or run you over if need be. Not so ironically enough, those particular traits are secondary to what he thinks makes him as good as he is. "I think it's my vision." he said. "I'm able to see the play develop, look at the defensive pursuit and make my decisions a step ahead of time if I need to. Being able to see the whole field helps with recognizing the play as it develops."
Coach Valiz has a better description as to what he thinks defines Britton's ability. "He's the complete package." he said. "Speed, power, intelligence, Edward has all the essential tools to be successful at this level and at the next level. I know what I can coach, but I also know that he has some of those things you can't coach. That's what makes him special."
How special? How special can Edward Britton be his final year of high school football? Adrian Peterson special? Toney Baker special? Well, that's the question that will be asked right up until the results are tallied at the end. It's special enough though that Texas Tech, Stanford, Baylor, Nebraska and others have already offered the Britton in writing.
That list promises to grow over time, but chances are, it won't have too much more time to grow. Edward said that he would like to make his decision on where he goes either before or early into his final year of ball. "I would like to get that burden off of my shoulders as soon as I can." Britton stated. "I kind of want to go into the season as relaxed as I can be."
Ok, so there's a time-limit which means that those teams listed above probably have the best shot at him right now. And out of those teams, I asked the obligatory question about what his top list looked like. "Well, I'd say Nebraska is one and two." Britton stated. "It's Nebraska and if you know anything about football and you don't know about Nebraska, you need to leave football."
The football program wasn't all that impressed Britton about UNL. "Everyone around here just knows me as the computer guy." he said. "And, that's probably what really steered me towards Nebraska. They sent me some stuff on their programming and engineering courses and it really fits me well."
While Nebraska seems to have a commanding lead, Britton said that nothing is for sure until it's all said and done, but he did concede that NU is a solid leader right now.
That means something, you know? Possibly the top running back in the state of Texas this year and a strong possibility they might end up somewhere other than Texas?
Sound like another running back you know?
Either way, it probably won't be long that there will come a time when you utter the name, Edward Britton and instead of "who", everyone simply says "wow".
"We've got a lot of experience coming back on offense." Coach Valiz said. "That doesn't guarantee anything, but I know the fans are going to think about what Edward is going to do this year. I'm kind of curious myself. I think it will be fun to watch and see what happens."