JC O-Lineman Donovan Edwards

He went to a JC out of high school a year ago, then grew an inch and gained 35 pounds, and now many big-time programs are showing interest in Donovan Edwards. He talked about his unique situation, his recruitment, and attending UCLA's Spring Game...

Flying under the radar as a senior, Donovan Edwards had three options: go to Langston University in Oklahoma, an NAIA school, go to D-III Menlo College in Northern California, or go the JC route and hope some other schools came calling.

A full-qualifier out of high school, Edwards opted to go to a JC, graduating from Pinole Valley HS at 6-4, 245, and enrolling at Diablo Valley CC.

Now, only a year later, at 6-5 and 280 pounds, schools in need of offensive linemen who can come in and play right away are beginning to get in touch with Edwards.

"Schools have really started to get involved," said Edwards. "I've gotten calls from Ole Miss, Florida and UCLA most recently and my coach told me that USC is coming to check me out on Thursday during our spring practice. I took an unofficial visit to Cal and I got to meet their coaches. The last player from my high school to sign was Thomas DeCoud and he just got drafted from Cal. Schools like that I could come in and play and that's what drawing them to me, in addition to my 3.5 GPA. I've put on more weight and gotten stronger and gotten faster. It's been a good decision."

Last weekend, Edwards traveled to Southern California to visit UCLA unofficially and took in the Bruins' Spring Game at the Rose Bowl.

"Oh wow, that was a great experience, walking on the Rose Bowl field. I've seen it so many times on television but to be able to stand out there on the field was amazing," said Edwards.

Edwards also got some positive feedback from the Bruin coaching staff.

"Their offensive line coach, Coach (Bob) Palcic said he wants to offer me and that an offer is in the works and that they should have an offer out this week," said Edwards. "They just want to get my transcripts and get the o.k. I don't think I'd commit right away though. I think I'll wait it out a couple more weeks. I always want to keep my options open. But I'm feeling pretty confident."

It's a big change for Edwards, who thought he would have to spend at least two years at a JC before he could sign anywhere.

"I figured I was waiting," said Edwards. "I knew I was qualified and I figured my two full years at a JC would have to happen before I signed anywhere. I'm pretty happy. I picked the best program for me in Northern California and now get a chance to play at a big-time program. I said to myself, If I have a better opportunity, than I'll leave. But if not, then I don't mind returning."

Edwards said if he chooses to leave this year, he would do so in summer and wouldn't need to attain his AA degree.

"When I'm looking at a school, I have three things I am looking at. First and most importantly, I'm looking at the schools academics. Do they offer my major? How is their academic system looked upon, because there is life after football. Secondly, I'm really looking at the football program. And third, I'm looking at the location, where it is located," said Edwards.

Edwards said distance wouldn't be a factor for him and he's open to leaving the area if that is the best fit for him.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories