HOPE MILLS, N.C. --- In a year's time, Mike Edwards has gone from a trombone player to a football recruit holding five scholarship offers. North Carolina, a school he has a couple connections to, is among the programs that has offered the 2018 offensive lineman.
"Big Mike is a sponge," South View head coach Rodney Brewington said. "He gets better everyday. He has a very high ceiling. It's not everyday that you get a 6-6, 315-pound kid that can run. He has a long arm span, is very athletic, and I'm very excited about what he's going to do this year."
Last offseason, Brewington left his post at Winter Springs (Fla.) High to coach his alma mater. Three days into his South View tenure, Brewington stumbled upon Edwards by chance.
"When I pull up at 7 o'clock [in the morning], I see this huge kid sitting in the parking lot," Brewington said. "I jump out of my car, 'Son, who are you? Where have you been?' He said, 'I'm in the band.' I said, 'Don't you play football?' He said, 'The [prior] coaches told me just to go to band and don't worry about football, because I was in the band and wanted to go to band camp.' I said, 'First of all, we're done with the band.'"
Brewington proceeded to escort Edwards into the coaches' office. There, Brewington informed the offensive line coach, "This is your starting left tackle. No buts. Whatever you do with the other four is fine, but this is your starting left tackle."
Edwards did indeed start the entire 2015 season at left tackle.
This offseason, though, Edwards slid inside to left guard as Brewington continues to familiarize himself with his roster. The move was made to make room for Jaylan Galloway, a converted defensive end who's been offered by Charlotte and Miami (Ohio).
"Jaylon has such great feet so we wanted him at tackle, because Mike could do both," Brewington said.
After preforming at UNC's camp, Edwards was given a tour of its campus, met with offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic, and then steered into Larry Fedora's office. There, Fedora offered Edwards a scholarship.
"First, [Fedora] asked me if I was nervous," Edwards said. "Then, he was straight up with it, 'You have an offer.'
"The offer means a lot. I knew then my future was going to change."
Brewington accompanied Edwards during the camp visit.
"They liked his wing span, which was off the charts -- close to NFL measurables," Brewington said. "And they like him because he has an NFL body."
Edwards has also collected scholarship offers from Charlotte, Miami (Ohio), NC State, and Wake Forest.
"Georgia and Clemson are showing extremely high interest in him, as well as South Carolina and Virginia," Brewington said. "And Duke is going to offer when he gets on campus."
In addition to UNC, Edwards has camped at Clemson, Georgia, and Wake Forest.
Edwards is looking to attend games at Clemson, UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest -- the four schools that he's favoring -- this coming season.
"I kind of want to stay in the Carolinas [for college]," Edwards said. "I'm still learning about those schools, but when I visited those schools, I really liked them."
Depending on scheme, Edwards could play either guard or tackle in college, according to Brewington. In fact, Brewington believes Edwards could switch to defensive line on the next level.
"He's just very athletic," Brewington said.
Edwards's sister is a UNC alumna. While he didn't grow up rooting for the Tar Heels, he became a UNC fan through his sister. That family connection also allowed Edwards to make countless visits to Chapel Hill to see his sister... As coach of Greensboro (N.C.) Smith, Brewington coached former Tar Heel Eric Ebron... Edwards is also a member of South View's wrestling and track-and-field teams. In track-and-field, he competes in the shot put and discus.