Notre Dame fans attention on the recruiting trail might be focused on top-100 RB Jeremiyah Love since he remains uncommitted, with the Irish in great position, but fans would be wise to pay just as much attention to already committed Dylan Edwards. Listed as a running back on all the recruiting services, Edwards is being recruited as an offensive weapon by the Irish staff, and it’s becoming very apparent why. Edwards is electric with the ball in his hands on a weekly basis for Derby HS. On Friday night, Edwards scored five touchdowns in Derby’s win over Hayesville Campus High.
Edwards got his team on the board early in the first quarter with this 34-yard scoring run where his speed is on full display.
Later in the first quarter, Edwards took one to the house from 77 yards out, again showing off his speed. In this one, Edwards makes one cut and explodes through the defense to race into the endzone untouched.
He didn’t limit his damage to just rushing touchdowns, either. Here he takes a count back 55 yards for a touchdown and makes it look easy in the process.
All of these clips are from the first quarter of one game on Friday night. Edwards added two more touchdowns in the game giving him 14 on the season through five games.
Dylan Edwards is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s a threat to score pretty much every time he touches the ball. It’s been a while since Notre Dame has had a player quite like him on campus. He’s got speed like Dexter Williams, but he is a bit more shifty and elusive than Williams, who was more of the one cut and run kind of big play back.
He’s got a little of Kyren Williams‘s shiftiness but with better top-end speed. Now, I say a little because Kyren was one of the most elusive running backs to play for the Irish in many years. But Edwards does have a little of that in his arsenal.
Because Edwards is from Kansas, comparisons to former Kansas State legend Darren Sproles quickly come to mind. Like Sproles, Edwards is a smaller, dynamic back who can hurt you in several ways, even though he’s not a traditional between-the-tackles running back.
Watching the way Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is using multiple running backs this year should give Irish fans a glimpse of how he’ll be able to use a back with Edwards skillset. Because of the lack of depth at receiver, Rees has been using a lot of multiple back sets, with one back split out as a receiver at times. Edwards would be deadly in that kind of role – especially if an opposing defense tried to let a linebacker cover him.
Against North Carolina, Notre Dame had three running backs top 100 yards of total offense. Over the last two games, all three Irish running backs have been featured as receivers, with Logan Diggs notching 65 yards receiving with a touchdown against UNC, Audric Estime catching three for 43 yards against Cal, and Chris Tyree catching nine passes for 68 yards combined the last two weeks.
If Notre Dame can add Jeremiyah Love to the class along with Edwards and Jayden Limar, they will have a loaded backfield in this class. Things appear to be trending in Notre Dame’s way for Love, although that recruitment has been a bit of a rollercoaster the last two months. If Love does land with Notre Dame, though, between the three backs and the current receivers committed, Notre Dame’s lack of offensive playmakers problem will likely be a thing of the past in a hurry.