The recruiting process can be stressful for top football prospects. Coaches are pulling the nation’s top recruits in different directions in hopes of landing a commitment.
G.W. Carver star defensive end Jon Michael Edwards was ready to commit to Mississippi State earlier this week, but an ill-timed vacation from Dan Mullen and his staff may have cost the Bulldogs.
“I was trying to commit (to Mississippi State) this Tuesday but nobody was there, they were all on two-week vacation,” Edwards said. “So I went to Southern Miss, and they kind of changed my mind. Now my mind is telling me to hold off a little bit.”
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect also has offers from Alabama State, Georgia State, Western Kentucky and Northern Illinois among others, but said he’s narrowed it down to Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
Edwards’ top priority is early playing time, and said the team that can offer him the best chance of hitting the field early is the place he’ll go. He is visiting each school one more time, Mississippi State for Bulldog Camp on July 19 and Southern Miss a week later for a get-together with the top prospects and families.
He said he’ll make his decision in the beginning of August after consulting with his mother Cossaundria, father Jerry and older brother Jeremy.
“I believe people get caught up in an SEC school or whatever, but I’m kind of looking at trying to get early playing time,” Edwards said. “They’re looking for now, and I’m looking for the future to the NFL. By me getting in to the NFL, I feel like I can get there by having an early start.
“People would probably say, ‘Why’d he pick Southern Miss over Mississippi State?’ You can still go to the NFL each way, but I’m just trying to get my name out there.”
Edwards racked up 45 tackles and two sacks last season for the Wolverines. He leads a defense with Alabama linebacker commit Shaun Dion Hamilton that lost seven starters.
Fellow Wolverine Charles Standberry committed to Ole Miss last week. Standberry plays wide receiver for Carver but will play tight end for the Rebels.
In addition to Edwards, Hamilton and Standberry, teammates Draequon Murphy, Landy Capetillo are also on Division I radars.
“It’s just a testament of the kids and the hard work they put in off and on the field,” Carver coach Billy Gresham said. “It’s paying off for them. The biggest thing with recruiting is character. It’s more so a testament to those guys and how they represent Carver High School and the way we want our student-athletes to represent us.”