"Right now, [UNC] is like my No. 2 [school] to be honest. I like them a lot. I like the love the coaches are showing me. Coach [Dan] Disch and Coach [Gunter] Brewer write me almost every day. I've always liked them growing up. I know they have a good football team. I know they have a good business school."
Approximately 20 schools have offered Edwards, a 5-foot-11, 192-pound safety from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy. UNC extended its offer during the Spring Evaluation Period. That offer prompted him and his parents to visit the school in mid-June.
"The campus was nice," Edwards said. "They have the best campus out of all the colleges. The facilities are real nice."
During that visit, Edwards spent a lot of time with Disch, a fellow Jacksonville native who recruits the area for UNC. Since then, Edwards and Disch speak once a week.
"We talk about school, the game that week, how they're doing, how I'm doing," Edwards said.
Edwards and his parents are still in the process of finalizing the plans for his return visit to UNC. He'll likely leave for Chapel Hill following his game that Friday night, attend the UNC-Virginia game on Saturday, and then head home on Sunday. His parents are looking into flights, but might end up driving.
While the game atmosphere will be important, Edwards's main focus is diving deeper into UNC's business program, his desired college major, and spending a lot of time with the Tar Heels' coaching staff.
"My parents, they're real strict about academics, so that's going to be a big part of my visit," Edwards said. "I want to get around the coaches and see how they feel about me. And I want to see the campus, particularly where I might be staying at."
Edwards is a three-year starter for Trinity Christian where he has played a hybrid safety/linebacker position. He hasn't been told where he fits within UNC's 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
After visiting UNC, Edwards is looking to make trips to NC State and Stanford, but doesn't have dates for either trip.
Edwards has logged some heavy travel miles. In addition to the June UNC trip, he has visited Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. Those travels included the Auburn-Mississippi State and Georgia Tech-UNC football games.
It was during his visit for the game against Mississippi State that Edwards began to lean towards Auburn.
"My parents and I actually got a chance to sit down and talk to the coaches," Edwards said. "They were able to tell us how I'd fit into the scheme and I'm the type of player they're looking for. You could tell with Coach [Charlie] Harbison that he's really sincere and he really cares about his players. And it's a good school."
During the Georgia Tech-UNC, Edwards was able to see the Tar Heels' defense in-person.
"[UNC's defense] played pretty good," Edwards said. "They came out strong. They fell off at the end, but it was a good game and their defense looked good." Ben Edwards Profile