MIRAMAR, Fla. — Brian Edwards normally heads to Hollywood Beach on Sunday mornings with his uncle for a rigorous sand and water workout as he gets ready for his freshman season with the Florida football program.
But not this past weekend.
He had put his work in Saturday night, reaching a personal-best 6 foot, 8 inches on the high jump at a track meet near Orlando while getting home in the early hours of the morning.
Standing by the high jump pit on Monday afternoon, Miramar High School track and field coach Chris McComb pulls up the latest national rankings on his phone. He says Edwards is now tied for 11th in the country (while ranking second in the state) among varsity athletes, with the national leader in the event sitting at 7 feet.
“There’s not too many football players doing that,” McComb said.
And because of that exceptional skill, Edwards is hoping to be a two-sport athlete at Florida and also compete in track and field. Edwards says the Gators football coaches have indicated they’re OK with that as long as he communicates and handles his responsibilities, but no official decision on his dual-sport future has been made yet.
“Coach (Jim) McElwain, hopefully he’ll give me the chance to and I’m going to take the chance,” he said. Edwards, rated a 3-star cornerback by the 247Sports Composite, is part of a deep class of defensive backs the Gators are bringing in this summer as they rebuild their secondary.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect says those same jumping abilities that set him apart on the track translate well to the football field as well.
“It helps me being able to go and get a ball from receivers, being able to get faster coming out of my breaks and not even that, just running, but especially my flexibility,” Edwards said.
His mother Karen Edwards is originally from Jamaica and has a background in track and field. She says he’s always balanced both sports with passion for each, and she would know.
“I’ve driving from track and trying to head to football and he’s changing in the car,” she said of their routine over the years.
Whether he can do it at Florida as well remains to be seen, but he’d like to give it a try.
McComb talks to Gators defensive coordinator Randy Shannon and has kept him updated on Edwards’ track and field feats.“They hit me up. When I talked to Randy about it, he says, ‘How’s he doing in track?’ I told him (about) the high jump and he goes, ‘That’s pretty good.’ I haven’t talked to Coach Bell (new defensive backs coach Corey Bell), but that probably wouldn’t be a bad conversation to have with him,” McComb said.He also hasn’t talked with Florida track and field coach Mike Holloway yet either, but that conversation might happen soon.“I have other kids I’ve talked to Holloway about. We haven’t talked about Brian yet. It will be something to think about it,” he said. “He’s a football guy doing track, so I wanted […]