Four-star cornerback prospect Mike Edwards from Cleveland Glenville has parlayed a solid senior season into one worthy of landing scholarship offers from around the Big Ten. It has not brought him the one offer he truly wants, however, but for that he is willing to wait.
First things first, however: Edwards is planning on taking his first official visit this weekend, and the location has something to do with the school from which he is still hoping to land an offer.
"I plan on taking my first official visit this weekend to Illinois because they're hosting Ohio State down there," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "After that, I'm going to wait. I'm really just waiting for an Ohio State offer to come around."
The 5-10, 170-pound Edwards claims 22 scholarship offers, but the Buckeyes are not among them. Edwards is being recruited by OSU cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson, and he said the two were in close contact during the spring.
Communication between the two parties has dropped off somewhat as the 2008 season got underway, but Edwards said things are already starting to pick back up now that his season is over.
"My relationship with Ohio State, actually we really just got back to talking often," he said. "Coach Johnson had told me to call him but I really hadn't talked to him one-on-one on the phone yet. Our relationship used to be real close last spring."
Whether the Buckeyes will offer Edwards or not remains a mystery. The cornerback said he does not know why the university has not done so, but said he realizes he could be caught in a numbers game.
That situation is exacerbated by the fact that three-star safety prospect Vlad Emilien holds an offer from OSU and lists the Buckeyes as one of his final four schools with plans to announce a final decision during the week following the OSU-Michigan game.
Edwards said he does not know anything about Emilien and that the coaches have not talked to him about the Plantation, Fla., native.
Landing an offer from the Buckeyes would be the culmination of a lifelong dream for Edwards.
"It's just all my life I've been wanting to see what I'm the type of player that one day would be able to play for Ohio State," he said. "That's just been my goal."
His recruitment could be turned up a notch as well with the news that three-star defensive back prospect Bradley McDougald from Dublin (Ohio) Scioto will no longer be a part of the class of 2009. His absence could mean Edwards is more likely to receive an OSU offer.
His profile has gone up during his senior season. After opening the year ranked as a two-star prospect by Scout.com, this year has seen him elevate to four-star status. Scout now ranks him as the No. 19 cornerback in the country.
As a senior, Edwards played defensive back, running back, wide receiver, quarterback and punt and kick returner for the Tarblooders. OSU is looking at him solely as a defensive back, while some schools have said he could return kicks in college as well.
"I feel like I had a better year than most people expected me to have," he said. "That's why my recruiting has gone up and the stars and things are happening like that. Not many people expected me to have the season that I had. Me personally, I feel like maybe I could have done a little bit better but I do feel like I had a good season this year."
Whether that will be enough to land Edwards his coveted offer from the Buckeyes remains to be seen. If OSU does give him a scholarship offer, Edwards said it would merit immediate attention.
"It would speed up my recruiting process a lot," he said. "I'm not sure if I would commit right on the spot, but it would definitely be something to go home and talk about that night."
Edwards is planning on being at Ohio Stadium to see the Buckeyes host Michigan in the regular-season finale for both teams. After that, he will continue to consider his options with the hope that OSU will offer him.
Should it come to that, Edwards said he is willing to wait until National Signing Day.
"Yeah, probably so," he said. "Definitely."