Two Knoxville West (Tennessee) High School football defensive standouts are headed to the SEC West.
Three-star prospects Drew Francis, a linebacker, and teammate Tyrece Edwards, a defensive end, have committed to Arkansas, their high school coach, Lamar Brown, confirmed to the USA TODAY Network on Sunday.
Brown said Edwards and Francis both had talked about playing together in college.
“It’s something they have talked about if they had the opportunity,” Brown said. “They both had offers from some of the same teams.”
“They both really liked Arkansas. I think they were the leader the whole time.”
Francis is the No. 29 prospect in the state and No. 58 outside linebacker in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker was the defensive player of the year in Region 3-5A. He had 89 tackles, 18 for loss and eight sacks in 2018.
“(Arkansas gets) a very smart linebacker in Drew,” Brown said. “He is a very unique high school player. He likes to do it the right way. On the field, his technique is the thing that separates Drew.
“He loves the game and gives a relentless effort every play.”
Edwards is the No. 51 prospect in the state, according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s the No. 84 weak-side defensive end in the country.
Edwards, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound athlete, was the defensive lineman of the year for the second straight season in Region 3-5A in 2018.
“Tyrece, what separates him, is he is so explosive for a defensive end,” Brown said. “His first step is one of the fastest I’ve seen. He beats a lot of players.”