On Monday night in the BCS National Championship game, Florida State sophomore defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. came up with a performance that shouldn’t shock people around here.
In Florida State’s 34-31 win over Auburn for the Seminoles’ third national title, Edwards racked up six tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack.
The Mississippi native joins defensive end Jarvis Moss (Florida, 2007) defensive tackle Derek Lokey (Texas, 2006) and Ishie Oduegwu (Texas, 2006) as former Ryan players to win a national championship.
It was only fitting that Edwards put Ryan in the spotlight in one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Edwards was one of only two players from Texas starting in last night’s game (the other was Auburn senior defensive end Nosa Eguae).
When Edwards was a junior and senior at Ryan, college coaches saw the potential in a kid that was dominating Class 4A football. It’s the reason he was touted as one of the nation’s best college football prospects and was a consensus top-three recruit by college recruiting websites.
Edwards was at Prosper before he closed out his final two years in high school at Ryan.
He was the Associated Press Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. As a senior, he was a PARADE All-America selection and the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year.
Edwards was one six players that signed with a Football Bowl Subdivision university off Ryan’s 2011 team that will go down as one of the most talented teams in program history. Edwards will be remembered as the standout of that recruiting class.
On national signing day in 2012, ESPN’s cameras and many media members crammed into a Ryan fieldhouse crammed with college-bound players signing their national letters of intent.
As Florence was addressing the room, Edwards spontaneously began speaking into the cameras and announced his decision to sign with Florida State.
The whole room was trying to figure out what was going on as Edwards spoke to a live, nationwide audience. That signaled the beginning for Edwards, and last night’s performance in the national championship game was another step in a stellar career.
If Edwards leaves Florida State and becomes the fourth Ryan player taken in the NFL draft, nobody should be surprised. His dominating days at Ryan were just an indication of things to come.
“We’ve had a great defense here the last two years, and I’ve been very blessed with a lot of great players on defense, and he certainly was the anchor for that,” Florence said on signing day in 2012. “He got a lot of attention, and he was very deserving. It’ll be good to follow him in the future to see what he does.”