Target 2004: Jamaal Edwards

At age 13, Greensboro Dudley running back Jamaal Edwards was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national track champion in the 100m. His personal best in the event is 10.7 seconds. And along with his speed comes power. Edwards bench-presses 320 pounds.

It's easy to see how he was able to rush for 2,387 yards last season on 346 carries. He also scored 31 touchdowns to lead the Panthers to the 2002 NCHSSA 3-A championship game.

"He is going to be one of the top running backs around," Dudley head coach Victor Floyd said. "He is certain to be a national recruit and a lot of schools are calling already."

Edwards played at Greensboro Page during his freshman and sophomore years, but it was when he transferred to Dudley that his talent exploded on the field. Edwards credits Floyd for his success in his junior year.

The Tar Heel coaches have had their eyes on Edwards since his junior season, and were the first to offer him in mid-January. Edwards was surprised when the offers started coming in never really thinking about playing Division-I football.

He lists his favorites as UNC, N.C. State and Florida State. Of those three, only the Seminoles have yet to extend an offer. Clemson, Duke and Virginia have also offered Edwards.

Currently, five schools have offered but look for that number to swell as he has a busy summer at numerous camps planned for the year. UNC, NCSU, and FSU are the front-runners now.

Before making his decision, he plans to attend camps at UNC, N.C. State, Clemson, S.C., Georgia, FSU, Virginia, Michigan, and Tennessee.

"I plan to take all my official visits before I decide," Edwards said. "I will also take as many unofficial visits as I can. I am not sure if I will take my visits before, during or after the football season.

Edwards has made two unofficial visits to Chapel Hill for basketball games and he intends to see at least one more. He hopes to play on a team that can win some games, in an atmosphere that he feels comfortable in.

Edwards grew up around football, as his father played for North Carolina A&T. He and his family frequently attended football games and Edwards competed all through his childhood years.

He said that it really doesn't matter much to him or his parents if he goes to a school that is not close to his home. North Carolina A&T was his favorite school growing up. The best player that he played against was A.J. Nicholson (currently at Florida State).

The UNC coaching staff has been encouraging him to work hard in the classroom and on the field. Edwards plans to major in business management.

Jamaal Edwards
1st Position: Running Back
Ht: 6-0
Wt: 196
40-Time: 4.4

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