Granite City quarterback Freddy Edwards would have been perfectly happy going through the complete college recruiting process and making his decision following his senior season next fall.
But after a junior day visit to Miami of Ohio earlier this year, Edwards’ has made up his mind.
Ranked as the No. 9 high school player in the state for the 2020 recruiting class by 247 Sports, the 6-1, 185-pound Edwards recently gave a verbal commitment to join the Miami football program beginning in the 2020 season.
“Why Miami? The environment, the campus, the facilities, the coaching staff, everything about it just seemed right for me,’’ Edwards said on Tuesday. “I went out for a junior day visit and really liked it. After I got back, I thought about it for a long time and I told my parents that I thought I had the school for me. They met the coaching staff and they agreed with me.”
A News-Democrat first team all-area selection this past season when he led the Warriors to a 5-5 record and their first IHSA playoff appearance in nine years, Edwards will join former Althoff standout Jaylon Bester at Miami in 2020.
Bester, who will be a senior in the 2020 season, has played in 22 of 24 games in his first two years as a Redhawk. A running back, the 5-8, 182-pound Bester accounted for over 500 yards of total offense for Miami which finished 6-6 in 2018 under coach Chuck Martin.
Located in Oxford, Miami is getting one of the top players in llinois in Edwards.
Despite missing most of the final seven games of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury suffered against Belleville East, Edwards has had a hand in 62 touchdowns. Gifted both as a passer and a runner, Edwards has thrown for 1,948 yards and run for 3,053 yards in his first three years.
Edwards is joining a Miami program which is an annual contender in the Mid-American Conference. The Redhawks were 6-2 in the MAC last season. They have also turned out several former and current NFL players including Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It’s great to be going to be going to a school which has turned out professional athletes,’’ Edwards said. “The MAC (Mid-American Conference) is a great football league with teams like Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.
“Like I said, its the right time and place for me. It’s a place I’ll be happy.’’