Two Denton ISD DEs shined in bowls

 

Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. and Oklahoma State defensive Jimmy Bean both starred in their respective bowl games. Edwards graduated from Ryan, while Bean graduated from Guyer. (Denton Record-Chronicle illustration/Ben Baby)

While watching Florida State come from behind and beat Auburn in a thriller for the final BCS championship before we head to playoff system (rejoice!), it hit me.

There’s a pretty solid chance that in two years we could have two high draft picks in Denton ISD products, who just happen to play the same position.

You see, I covered the Cotton Bowl on Friday and saw former Guyer standout Jimmy Bean dominate a tough Missouri offensive line. Then, of course, on Monday night everyone watched former Ryan standout Mario Edwards turn in an equally dominant effort against Auburn to earn himself a national championship.

In fact, the numbers are eerily similar.

Against Auburn, Edwards had the game of his life garnering all kinds of attention from Brent and Kirk in the booth. He finished the night with six tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.

Against Missouri in the Cotton Bowl, Bean had the game of his life, racking up seven tackles, with three coming behind the line, and a sack for Oklahoma State. From folks I know who saw the telecast and listened on the radio, Bean got lots of love from the announcers, as well. Nearly identical. Both players were great, and both had legitimate claims to the Defensive MVP award.

Want to know what else is similar? Look at their season stats. In 11 starts for the Seminoles this year, Edwards finished the year with 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble return for a touchdown.

Now, let’s look at Bean’s numbers. As a redshirt sophomore, Bean started every game. Including Friday’s Cotton Bowl, Bean finished the season with 34 tackles, 9.5 tackles behind the line and 4.5 sacks in 13 starts.

The similarities don’t stop there. Both players were supposed to redshirt as freshmen, but neither was able to as they were both pushed into playing time due to injuries. Bean ended up redshirting as a sophomore due to a nagging injury, so now both are on the same timeline even though Bean is a year older.

Edwards, as everyone knows, was a can’t-miss recruit — a Parade All-American, a USA Today Defensive Player of the Year, son of an NFL veteran and the No. 1 recruit in the nation.

Bean was more of a project, a super-athletic defensive end who was undersized going into college, and probably still is. He’s now up to 245 pounds after leaving Guyer at 205 pounds, soaking wet, on his 6-5 frame.

I’ve talked to people who’ve talked to people that say Bean projects as a possible first-round draft pick, due mostly to his high, yet-to-be-realized ceiling. Edwards is an obvious candidate to be a first-round pick and is probably closer to the max-out of his talent, if by nothing else just his body type and size.

Either way, both are coming off the best games of the career, and the two will meet to open the 2014 season at AT&T Stadium as Florida State and Oklahoma State meet in the season opener. Both players played in state championship games in 2010 on the same field. It’ll be a good day for the Denton area, as the local talent from that era (2010-2012ish) will be on display once again after the last college game in JerryWorld (The Cotton Bowl) featured seven area players and five who started.

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