Notre Dame is setting the early pace in the recruitment of Granite City High School sophomore quarterback Freddy Edwards.
Edwards took an unofficial visit to South Bend, Ind., on Saturday and watched the Fighting Irish defeat North Carolina State 35-14. He was accompanied by his guardian, Robert Wilson, and Granite City assistant coach Justin Williamson.
“It was a pretty good campus and a good trip. I liked it a lot,” Edwards said Tuesday. “They took me on a tour of the campus, showed me the locker room, (took me) on the field. Everything they did was amazing. I went on the walk with (the football team) before the game; they showed me where the players hang out before the game, their study halls and their study tables. It was pretty cool; it was a good experience.”
Heady stuff for Edwards, who still has two years remaining at Granite City. But the 5-foot-11 Edwards is anything but a normal player. In two-plus games this season, he passed for 301 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 431 yards and seven TDs.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Edwards’ season was cut short when he suffered a separated right shoulder and torn labrum in the Warriors’ third game of the season against Belleville East, as he was attempting a tackle while playing cornerback. The Warriors were 2-0 entering the game; they finished 2-7 with their star player on the sidelines.
“It was tough to see what was happening on the field,” said Edwards, who is still in therapy from the injury. “I just had to take control of the sidelines, be a captain of the team and keep my head up.”
A lot of kids would want to be in the position I am right now. I’m blessed that I’m able to have all these colleges interested in me. I’m only a sophomore, so I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m taking it all in until I have to come down to a decision.
Granite City football player Freddie Edwards
Edwards also has received letters from Iowa, Illinois, Purdue and Missouri. He expects to take an unofficial visit to Illinois before the end of the season.
“A lot of kids would want to be in the position I am right now,” Edwards said. “I’m blessed that I’m able to have all these colleges interested in me. I’m only a sophomore, so I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m taking it all in until I have to come down to a decision. Whoever I like the best, I’m going to choose — hopefully next year.”
Edwards doesn’t expect to play defense next season. Quarterback is his favorite position, and that’s where he says Notre Dame envisions using him.
“I want to play the position I’ve been playing my whole life, which is quarterback,” Edwards said. “I don’t think I would want to play any other position. You control the tempo of the game (at quarterback). You can slow it down by snapping the ball late or you can keep the up-tempo going and do a hurry-up offense. It’s like a catcher on the baseball field; you can see the whole field and control everything.”
Edwards said the atmosphere for the game at Notre Dame Stadium was “amazing.”
“It felt like home to me. It felt great,” Edwards said.
Edwards expects to be healthy enough to play baseball in the spring. When football rolls around next season, he will be taking snaps at Granite City.
“There are a lot of rumors saying I’m going somewhere else,” Edwards said. “But I’m staying at Granite because it’s my home. I’ve been here my whole life. I like the atmosphere, and I like the school spirit at Granite City. This is my home, so I’m planning on staying here the rest of my high-school career.
“It comes down to the coaches. I love every coach on the Granite City football team. That’s what I’m looking for in a college — that relationship with the coaches. My relationship with all the coaches here is amazing. They support me, I listen to them and I buy into their system.”