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Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2022 53 BY MIKE SINGER Dylan Edwards committed to Kansas State June 23 over Nebraska and Okla- homa, and all appeared locked in with his decision. Edwards' father, Leon, played run- ning back for Kansas State in the early 1990s. The elder Edwards rushed for 315 yards and a couple of touchdowns across three seasons. And the class of 2023 speedster from Derby (Kan.) High was going to play the same position that his pops did for the Wildcats. But Notre Dame came in with an of- fer to the 5-8, 155-pounder July 27, and he made plans to get up to South Bend right away. "Coach Deland [McCullough] called and offered, and said that he wanted me to come up and visit, but the dead period was about to start," Edwards re- called. "My dad and I were eager to visit, so we told him that we'd be up there the next day. Coach Deland and the staff were all happy about that." They had a great two-day visit in South Bend, and on that Friday night, Edwards announced his decommitment from Kansas State. At that point, it was pretty clear that Notre Dame would ul- timately be his choice. "It felt like an official visit," Edwards said. "The love they showed is a reason why they're getting such great recruits. I love the school, and academics are a big deal there. "I'm excited to get a degree from Notre Dame, and life after football would be great. The future is bright for me. I can't wait to play ball in South Bend." Edwards, is listed as a four-star re- cruit and the No. 20 running back in the nation by On3, announced his commit- ment publicly Aug. 6. "The academics and how Coach De- land [McCullough] develops his players," Edwards answered when asked about why he committed to the Irish. "I want to play in the College Football Playoff, and with Coach [Marcus] Freeman, they can get there almost every year. "This is a great class — we have the No. 2 class in the country right now, and we can push for No. 1 by the end of it. This class has a mission of winning a national championship, and that's what I want to be a part of." Edwards is listed as a running back but is much more than that. He'll be a playmaker for offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. "They told me I will be an overall weapon," Edwards said. "I don't want to just play running back at the next level. I want to play running back, receiver, punt returner and kick returner. I want the ball in my hands in space, and the rest will take care of itself." He will enroll at Notre Dame in Janu- ary to get a head start on his Irish foot- ball career. "The coaches believe in me to come in and make an impact," Edwards added. "It's all up to me about how I perform in spring ball and fall camp. I can't wait to get up there and show them what I can do." Edwards helped lead Derby to an un- defeated regular season in 2021 before falling in the Kansas 6A state title game. In 12 contests last fall, Edwards rushed 208 times for 2,603 yards and 38 touch- downs. He also caught 8 passes for 101 yards and 1 score. He earned 2021 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year honors for his perfor- mance as a junior. He was also named to the Sports in Kansas 2021 6A All-State first-team offense. "Dylan Edwards is the best player I've seen in person at the high school level," said Hutchinson High School head coach Mike Vernon, an opponent of Derby. "He's very dangerous. I can't wait for him to graduate." Edwards is committed to play in the 2023 Under Armour All-American Game. He won the Fastest Man chal- lenge at the Under Armour Future 50 camp over the summer and reportedly ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the event. ✦ COMMITMENT PROFILE DYLAN EDWARDS Notre Dame Flips Kansas State Legacy Running Back Edwards, who is a four-star recruit and the No. 20 running back in the country per On3, rushed 208 times for 2,603 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior in 2021. PHOTO COURTESY ON3.COM FILM ANALYSIS "Dylan Edwards is one of the more dynamic skill players and ball carries in the 2023 cycle. In every setting, he's proven to be a game breaker, and a lot of that has to do with his play speed. I don't believe he's a track guy, but the speed shows up on Friday nights for sure. "He's a dominant high school player, and you see that in the camp setting as well. At the Under Armour Future 50 camp, he won the fastest man race against [Notre Dame safety commit] Peyton Bowen. His 40-yard dash time would've been a sub-4.4. It's evident in how he plays. That's one thing you look for with these fast players is if they're able to harness their speed, and Edwards is able to do that. He's not just a pure straight-line athlete; he has a lot of lateral agility and ability to make defenders miss in space. "He wins when he gets to the second level. H e excels when you get the ball in his hands in the open field. He's a dominant rusher at the high school level." — On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power

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