Last week, former area high school football standouts headlined the Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri.
But on the final day of the college football season, another area standout will play a prominent role in the most prominent game of the season.
Former Ryan standout Mario Edwards Jr. will be starting at right defensive end for the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles in the BCS National Championship game against No. 2 Auburn.
Edwards is also the fourth Ryan player to be on a roster for the national championship game, joining former Ryan players Derek Lokey (Texas), Ishie Oduewgu (Texas) and Jarvis Moss (Florida).
This season, Edwards has started in 10 games and compiled 22 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. Edwards scored his first collegiate touchdown with a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown against No. 3 Clemson.
Edwards is one of three players on Florida State’s roster from Texas, and the lone Seminole from the Lone Star State starting in tonight’s game. The lone Texas player on Auburn’s roster is senior defensive end Nosa Equae (Mansfield Summit). Equae is also starting for the Tigers.
Edwards graduated from Ryan in 2012 and was heralded as one of the nation’s top defensive recruits. He was a PARADE All-America selection in 2012 and was the Associated Press Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.
Last season, he started for the Seminoles in team’s 31-10 win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.