Sunshine State Standout

Mickey Mouse isn't the only drawing card in Orlando, Fla., there is also super safety/linebacker prospect Lorenzo Edwards, of Edgewater High School, who possesses the type of athletic ability and academic achievement that make him sound like a product of Fantasy Land.

Even Walt Disney would be creatively challenged to draw up a better student-athlete than the sleek 6-foot-2, 221-pound Edwards. After all, how many high school prospects have GPA's in collegiate courses that rival their 40 times.

"I am in AP classes so my core is over a 4.0 GPA," he told Scout.com. "Right now I am doing everything in the classes I am taking. I want to build anything, anywhere. We are in a program that allows us to design buildings, stores, and skyscrapers. In our last grading period, the teacher is going to allow us to go out and get internships."

Edwards, who can enter college as a sophomore, plans to major in architectural engineering, and readily acknowledges academics will be the driving force behind his choice of colleges.

"Wherever I go, they'll have a great architecture program," he told Justin Riney of Gator Country. "That's my number one priority. That's basically the main thing I'm looking for in a school. Then the coaching staff and how well I bond with them, and then the position details."

Edwards, who has 4.6 speed and is rated the nation's No. 3 linebacker prospect by Scout.com, prefers playing safety in college if his body allows.

"I would prefer safety," Lorenzo told Riney, "but I still have to keep it in the back of my mind that I can play linebacker, too. I understand that the coaches are going to do what's best for me at the time.

"Pretty much every school I'm talking with right now wants me at safety, Florida included. Like I said, I feel I can play both so I'm going in with that mentality but I would definitely prefer safety. I won't eliminate a program because they want me at linebacker though, because there's always that chance that the school I choose will move me anyway."

We told you he was smart.

And college coaches are smart to recruit him as a safety. In the case of Tennessee, the Vols often use their strong safety as an extra linebacker in which case the free safety becomes a strong safety. That's how Jason Allen led the SEC in tackles while playing primarily at free safety as a junior. That makes Edwards a legit fit for Coach John Chavis' slash-and-burn defensive scheme.

Edwards' intelligence also extends to athletic endeavors, but he still appreciates the value of a big hit, as well as playing all the angles.

"My strength is my knowledge of the game," he said. "In order to be successful in anything you have to be smart and I am…I play smart. Also, I think another strength I have is my hitting. I can read where guys are going before they get there. I really don't think I have any weaknesses. I feel I'm at the top of my game right now. You can never stop improving and learning though. I'm trying to constantly improve everything so I can be the best I can be."

It would be hard for Lorenzo Edwards to improve upon his junior season, as he amassed 120 tackles (97 solo), five sacks, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries to pace Edgewater to an 11-2 record. Still he is very ambitious and driven to try.

"I have two goals for my senior year," he told Riney. "Number one, I want to get straight A's. Number 2, I'm very serious when I say that, I want to double my stats from my junior year."

In light of his accomplishments on the gridiron and in the classroom, it's surprising Edwards has time for strength training, but his totals suggest otherwise. He bench presses 305 pounds, power cleans 300 and squats 520. He also has a 34-inch vertical, but his speed separates him from other LB prospects.

"Lorenzo Edwards is perhaps the fastest linebacker prospect in the nation," writes Scout.com's Jamie Newberg. "Speed is the name of his game. He plays on the outside and he can play sideline to sideline, showing good laterally speed as well. Edwards never gives up on a play and can chase you down on any given play. Edwards is a good hitter that plays aggressively. He is also effective in pass defense. Edwards drops well, shows good vision and an excellent break on the ball. In certain schemes at the next level he could play a hybrid safety/ linebacker position.

While he doesn't name a favorite among his 30-plus offers, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Northwestern, Norte Dame and Tennessee represent the lead pack for his services.

"Tennessee has coach Fulmer, a very nice guy," Edwards said when asked about his interest in the Vols. "They have that southern style football."

And there's nothing Mickey Mouse about that.


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