Edwards plans on contributing this fall

One of the stars of the University of Tennessee fall camp so far has been true freshman Mike Edwards of Ohio. The talented defensive back is competing for a starting role and is excited about having a few obstacles behind him. Go inside this feature story to learn a little more about one of the newest Volunteers.

Ohio State may want to reevaluate their recruiting strategies.

The Buckeyes passed on Cleveland Ohio Glenville High School defensive back Mike Edwards, a prospect that surely would have stayed at home and signed at Ohio State.

Instead, the Buckeyes didn't offer and Ohio State's loss has become the University of Tennessee's gain.

Edwards, a four star prospect by Scout.com had several offers from a lot of big schools including offers from Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, and Cincinnati.

Edwards didn't appear on the Tennessee radar until after Lane Kiffin's arrival, the first year coach remembers getting that phone call that Edwards was his first commitment.

"I will always remember Mike being our first commit after our arrival," Kiffin said in an earlier interview. "What a great way to start off our recruiting efforts. Mike is really having a great fall camp and we expect a lot out of him this fall."

In fact Edwards is battling for a starting position as a true freshman and has been very impressive since his arrival to Rocky Top.

The road to Knoxville hasn't come with out road blocks.

Edwards wasn't cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse until about a week ago, insuring that the talented defensive back will get the opportunity to live out his dream.

"I'm so excited about being at Tennessee," Edwards said. "I came here because of Coach Kiffin and to get the chance to play for Monte Kiffin. Things are starting to get better, especially since I got cleared."

Edwards seemed more relaxed and at ease at the Volunteers Annual Media Day.

"It's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders," Edwards said. "Not being here with my teammates this summer was very tough to deal with. I'm so happy to be out here and doing what I do best."

According to Edwards, his transition to Division 1 football on the practice field has been a smoother transition than he expected.

"I'm picking up the defense faster than I expected," Edwards said. "The older guys have been really helpful and have taken the freshmen under their wings. They have been helping us with the little things that are important."

Edwards is hoping that all his hard work and patience will pay off for him and the Vols this fall.

"I have had a good camp so far," Edwards said. "I hope to contribute early and make an immediate impact."

Kiffin has been pleased so far with Edwards's performance.

"He has the talent to be very special for us," Kiffin said. "He is fun to watch play the game. He definitely should help us on the defensive side of the ball."

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