Louisville Football has gone Super Nova in recruiting. Just a couple of hours ago, they picked up a commitment from 3 Star CB Kani Walker. Now, they pick up a commitment from 3 Star FL S Derrick Edwards.
The 5’11 175 lbs prospect from Miami, FL chose the Cards over offers from Baylor, Florida State, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Miami (FL), and many others. Edwards ranks as the 72nd best S in the nation according to 247sports. Quarterbacks Coach Frank Ponce and Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach Bryan Brown were his primary recruiters for UofL.
Edwards plays for Miami Palmetto High School. He had at least 4 interceptions and returned 2 of them for TDs. His play this past season earned him a spot on the 8A-6A All-Dade Second-Team Defense according to the Miami Herald.
Here’s our staff’s breakdown of Edwards game.
Derrick Edwards is a versatile defensive back. His high school has him play S, slot CB, and CB. Most schools are looking at him to play S. Edwards has a nose for the football as evidenced by the 4 interceptions and numerous pass breakups and tackles in his highlights. The interceptions show he has good hands and can catch the ball. While not the fastest guy on the field, Edwards has more than enough speed. However, his acceleration and burst allow him to get good breaks on passes or break toward ball carriers when he’s reading what’s happening in front of him. His incredible 37 inch vertical allows him to get up and knock down passes. Fluid hips allow Edwards to change direction quickly to adjust and make plays. His tackling is probably is second best attribute. His best attribute is using his eyes to read and react. This particular skill is why I believe he will be a S at Louisville because having him at S plays to this strength.
Edwards has incredible athleticism. His ability to accelerate is special and his leaping ability allows him to high point the ball. The acceleration allows him to break quickly once he recognizes pass or run to make a play. Fluid hips allow him to change direction when in coverage and when lining up a tackle. He also has good speed as he is able to return an interception nearly the length of the field for a TD and is able to chase down a RB from behind.
Speaking of tackling, Edwards is an excellent tackler. He form tackles very well; breaking down, attacking the ball carrier, keeping his balance, wrapping up, and driving them with his legs. If a ball carrier is bigger, he effectively attacks their legs to bring them down. Edwards doesn’t mind delivering a few big hits as well. I imagine the staff will want to have him around the line of scrimmage, playing in the box. They can use his ability to get ball carriers to the ground effectively by having him as an in-the-box S.
Edwards, as the other Safeties do in this class, is excellent at diagnosing the offense’s plays and reacting to stop that play from being successful. This is the main reason why I think he will be a S. He can quickly see run or pass and react accordingly. Reading the QBs eyes, he can jump routes and breakup or intercept passes. He’s particularly good at realizing when QBs have decided to run and attacking them. He made a game saving tackle in this fashion near the goal line in one highlight that illustrates this. The ability to read and react, to me, would mean he fits better at S than CB.
Edwards hands are sure which is one of the reasons why he’s a good tackler, but is also why he had at least 4 interceptions. On one pass, he uses his 37 inch vertical to go up and uses his long arms and hands to reel in a pass most DBs wouldn’t have. The ability to get his hand in to knock passes down or out of receiver’s hands can’t be understated either.
While Edwards can play CB, I expect he will be a S. He can play either as a centerfield-type or in the box. In fact, I think UofL will utilize him in both capacities and rightly so.
Derrick Edwards has all the capabilities to be a great safety at Louisville. At 5’11 he has decent speed, great instincts, good hands, good tackling form, and good cover skills. Although he doesn’t have a blazing forty time, he plays faster than his forty time on game day. Edwards, like all the previous defensive backs in this class have a few things in common; ball instincts and cover skiils.
As a safety, Edwards is great in zone coverages. He stays as deep as the deepest man, to maintain his position as the last line of defense. Edwards quickly diagnoses plays and makes the necessary adjustments to make a play on the ball. I love the way Edwards reads both the quarterback’s eyes and receiver’s movements and reacts quickly to make a play on the ball or the ball carrier.
Louisville has got themselves a playmaker, I’m purposely stopping short of calling Edwards a ball hawk. Edwards had 4 interceptions and multiple pass breakups as a junior. Although he only came away with 4 interceptions, Edwards was in position to make a few more. When Derrick is around the ball he makes things happen. And once the ball is in his hands, his offensive skills takeover.
Derrick Edwards is one of the better cover safeties in this class. Although he is listed as Safety, Edwards spent a lot of time playing lockdown defense as a corner. He often finds himself matched up against the opposing team’s slot corner and holds his own the majority of the time. Edwards just doesn’t get beat deep, he has great closing speed and always attacks the ball at it’s peak.
Edwards is a very good form tackler. He is what you wonder consider a sure tackler and that is what you need at safety. When approaching ball carriers Edwards quickly breaks down, sinks his hips, and finishes his tackle through the ball carrier. Edwards is also very good at shedding and avoiding blockers on his way to the ball carrier. His ability to avoid blockers could be really beneficial in blitz packages and situations.
Derrick Edwards is another smart, athletic, and versatile player for Louisville Football. It’s a theme this staff has developed, especially in the defensive backfield. Edwards is a player that is an excellent tackler, a player that is always around the ball to make plays, and a player that understands what offenses are trying to do and is able to disrupt them consistently. He’s a true defensive dynamo that will grow into an excellent starting S that will also likely play some slot corner. Big pickup for our Cards.
With Edwards commitment UofL now has 14 total for the 2021 class. 247sports currently ranks the class as the 25th nationally and 5th in the ACC. This is one of the best classes UofL Football has ever had so far and they aren’t done yet.