COVID-17? That’s a life alteration. Where he will simply roll with the play calls. Or handle like that choice stiff arm on the second play of his junior highlight reel.
“It’s not really affecting me,” he said. “I’m just chilling. I think in my opinion I needed a break from all of the working out and the visits. I think with all of it right now all I can do is just be chilling. Just going with the flow.”
He said “go with the flow” a lot. That’s just who he is. The “flow” right now sounds like the “NBA 2K20” and “Fortnite” video games. He also adds a regimen that will also perk up the ears for DawgNation.
“I do some push-ups and stuff throughout the day,” he said.
Edwards aims for 300-500 of those per day. Did he know that was something UGA legend Herschel Walker was famous for?
“Yes, I know,” Edwards said. “He was the man. He was doing like a thousand of those per day, though. That’s why I try to do it.”
He has seen a steady flow of recruiters and FaceTimers hit him up of late. For good reason.
The 5-foot-11, 196-pound senior from West Bloomfield High (Bloomfield, Mich.) rates at the top of running back target list for Georgia in the 2021 class. He’s slotted as the No. 3 RB prospect for this cycle on the 247Sports Composite.
While others are ramping up their decision efforts to make sure they can still commit prior to their senior seasons, he will hit a different hole with all of this.
Edwards has no ballpark estimate for his decision timeline.
“No, not for real,” he said. “I’m not the type of person who will stress myself out. I’m more of a person who will take my time with this.”
The health pandemic across the globe will cost him some time in the Sunshine State.
“I was supposed to take some visits this month,” he said. “I was going to get Florida, Florida State and Miami but that has all kind of ruined a little bit.”
Edwards has been inspired by his father Kevin Edwards, his older brother and his head coach at West Bloomfield. Ron Bellamy is a former football player at Michigan. The Wolverines and their campus are only about 40 minutes away by car.
His father is a single Dad.
“My dad has just always been there for me,” he said. “It is kind of rough growing up for him having to raise two kids by himself at home. But now I am real thankful for that with my Dad. I’m thankful for my coach who keeps me straight through it all and for my older brother. He’s a role model to me.”
He does have some very big dreams for the game of football.
“My dream is I want to be a Heisman winner,” he said. “A Heisman winner and a national championship winner. I want to be drafted in the first round and I want to win a Super Bowl. That’s my dream for the game of football.”
Donovan Edwards has now taken two trips to visit the University of Georgia. His last one was back in January. (Donovan Edwards/Instagram)
First and 10 with Donovan Edwards: 10 quick things
Elite prospects aren’t wired the same way. Some play football because it is a vehicle for generational wealth. Others prioritize the college eduction. Then there are others who get after it because being a football star means a lot of clout and status.
Do they want to be great football players? Or do they chase the benefits of being a great football player?
Edwards has his own walk with that.
“I’m passionate about it,” Edwards said. “I’ve always felt love for the game since I was seven years old and then I’ve just kept going. I know what I am capable of. I’m capable of a lot. I realize that. So I try to push myself to be the best I can be regardless of the situation.”
“I do it because I love the game.”
In true Intel fashion, let’s fire off 10 rapid-fire things to know about the French fry lover:
- His physical profile lends itself to someone much older than his age. He will get called “Grandad” a lot by those who know him. They are kidding. Sort of.
- Edwards has been used in the backfield and in the slot for his West Bloomfield Lakers. That’s why he feels he can help college programs as a bell-cow running back and an option in the passing game.
- That is not just as an outlet out of the backfield. He’s lined up in the slot and at the “Y” position.
- Published reports credit him with 1,300 rushing yards, 500 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns for his junior year.
- When asked about which schools have already earned an official visit, he could only name one at this time. That was a “probably” for the University of Georgia.
- His favorite play call is a run between the guard and the tackle. West Bloomfield identifies those landmarks as the “4” and the “5” holes. One side of the line is a “Blue” call. His favorite call becomes “Red” if it goes to the other side of the center. Edwards stacks up more yards on the “Red” calls.
- What’s his favorite play on his tape? “Probably just my post routes,” he said. “We call that stealing. That’s me out of the ‘Y’ receiver spot and not the slot.”
- He wears No. 6 because a senior running back wore it when he was new to the varsity. The example that young man set with that digit inspired him to carry it on. “I looked up to him and acknowledged his game because he really studied the game,” Edwards said. “I kind of wear it because of him.”
- Edwards doesn’t pretend to fake an answer for his future college major. He just doesn’t know.
- His teammates call him “DonEd” a lot. That’s a mash-up of the first parts of his first and last names.
Check out his junior highlight film below. Especially that second clip.
Donovan Edwards: How does he feel about Georgia?
Edwards said to look for him to “most likely” take his official visits in the fall. He did not aim to take them in the spring even before our nation faced the current pandemic.
What is he looking for in a school?
“It is not necessarily what they need to have,” he said. “It is just what can I do there and it is really just a fitting thing. How do I fit there? If that makes sense. Just feeling at home and me being able to be used in the offensive system ran by the school.”
Are any schools standing out?
“Nah, not really,” he said. “I’m just going with the flow still.”
The Under Armour All-American said his January visit to UGA was “pretty fun” for him. His first visit to Athens was back in the summer of 2019.
“This one gave me a chance to meet a lot of different type of people,” Edwards said. “Like Brock.”
Edwards referred to 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff by his first name. The Georgia commit did bend his ear a little bit on that January trip.
“He kept telling me that this was the place to be and stuff like that,” Edwards said.
Donovan Edwards sees himself as an every down back in major college football. Rightfully so. (Donovan Edwards/Instagram)
He thought it was “dope” that Vandagriff could power clean 300-plus pounds. But he doesn’t know what he can do with that lift.
“We don’t really do that up north,” Edwards said.
He said he has a personal relationship with Notre Dame senior DL Khalid Kareem. South Bend is about 3.5 hours away from his home. He also has two former teammates that are on the Michigan football team.
Those two schools, along with Ohio State, seem to be major contenders for UGA when it comes to Edwards.
What comes to his mind first when he thinks of UGA?
“It is more so like the vibe,” he said. “I like the vibe they give off with me. I like the people who are around there.”
Edwards referred to Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee as “a real cool dude” even though they don’t talk every single day.
“We don’t have to talk every day but we know what’s up if you know what I am saying,” Edwards said. “It is just a good relationship between me and him.”
His 247Sports profile page will currently list 40 offers. The feeling is that all 40 of those schools are recruiting him hard, but there is a core group of about 10 schools he is looking at.
Does Georgia have a strong chance at an official visit?
“I think so,” he said. “Yeah. They are most likely going to get one.”
Have any other schools earned an official visit? He couldn’t come up with any other probable officials at this time. He noted that he had not thought about the rest of the schools that far yet.
“I don’t think Michigan is going to get one,” he said. “For one, I’ve been there so many times. Then secondly, I can go up there again anytime that I want to.”
Edwards operates out of a spread-type offense in high school. That’s his early college preference, too.
“If we have to do ‘Pro’ or an ‘I’ formation then I will just have to see because I am used to being in a spread-type offense,” he said.
Does he think his game fits the offense in place at Georgia?
“Yes,” he said. “Very much so. Because of what coach [Todd Monken] said and he sat me down when I was on my visit. He sat me down and showed me the exact type of ways that I can be used in that Georgia-type of offense now.”
Monken let him see NFL clips with the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Cleveland Browns in that film session. The 2015 Southern Miss Golden Eagles can serve as a unique college comparison.
Monken was the head coach of that team.
Check out the resume for the 2015 Golden Eagles:
- Finished 9-5 on the season, but that included losses to Mississippi State, Nebraska and Washington.
- Featured a 4,476-yard passer in current San Francisco 49ers backup Nick Mullens
- Showcased a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, including future Atlanta Falcon Ito Smith. Smith logged 1,128 rushing yards and 515 receiving yards in 2015.
- The top three receivers on that squad had 1,391, 925 and 779 receiving yards, respectively.
“Coach McGee said how I am a different style of runner,” Edwards said. “I’m not a person where you can use straight out of the backfield all the time. Like move me out to the slot. Go out to play the ‘Y’ and make plays there, too.”
Edwards will go with the flow as an early enrollee at the school of his choice in January of 2021.
Donovan Edwards said he really likes the vibe he felt at Georgia on his most recent visit back in January. (Donovan Edwards/Instagram)