Arkansas State has done well with reloading rather than rebuilding during their coaching turnover now that a little stability has been brought with Head Coach Blake Anderson. Anderson has put together a solid staff that continues to find gems in recruiting classes and identifying top talent via transfers from top programs and highly regarded institutions across the country. Players such as Cameron Echols-Luper from TCU, Kendall Sanders from Texas, and Dee Liner from Alabama will all be on the field this fall for the Red Wolves. Now, add another piece to the Arkansas State puzzle that will sit out this year and join the above players in the Fall of 2017 in Kendrick Edwards.
Edwards is a 6’6″ and 220 plus pound receiver who will dwarf most corners in the Sun Belt Conference. He will join a loaded stable of receivers, that if a quarterback can get them the ball, should not just beat, but out right embarrass opponents when they step on the field.
Edwards, a highly regarded receiver when he came out of high school 2 years ago as a 3* receiver out of Miami, Florida at Norland High School, will leave an SEC program that is known for running the ball, to a team that runs a hurry up no huddle offense that loves to spread the ball around and should provide plenty of touches for the big man and make him a prime red zone target.
Edwards had a few difficulties at his former program, but will be looking for a fresh start at Arkansas State. After being dismissed for a short time he was allowed back at a later date, but unfortunately was released months later for the second time and was granted his release and ability to transfer to another program. No one has ever questioned his abilities on the field, and will look to work hard so that no one can question his ability off the field either.
Edwards pulled in 8 passes over his 2 year career in 7 games (his second year shortened after being dismissed) for a total of 121 yards and one touchdown. Not impressed? He wasn’t the focus of the offense and was used more as a distraction to open things up for their super star tight end Hunter Henry and to allow their running game to have things open up for them. When looking at his stats just remember, Darion Griswold didn’t have big stats either and you can’t do anything if you don’t have the ball thrown to you. The Red Wolves in 2017 should do plenty of throwing his way considering he may have a solid 6-10 inches on most corners int he Sun Belt.
Edwards said, “Extremely blessed and thankful for this new opportunity at Arkansas State University!!” He was thought highly of by fans of his former collegiate team. He wasn’t a guy that a lot of negative talk would surround and his former coach thought enough of him to bring him back after his first suspension. He’s going to fit in at Arkansas State due to how he’s not just fast, but he’s very quick. As most freshman are, he was limited in action as a freshman and was dismissed before really getting started as a sophomore and will surely look to prove to the college football world what he’s made of.
Trey McBride describes the potential of Edwards at Arkansas State as a nightmare for defensive backs. McBride says, “I could see him being an immediate impact player.” Edwards was a big time receiver, but his former team was even looking at him to make an impact on special teams as a freshman and sophomore according to interviews from his previous coaches. This is an area where Arkansas State is more than loaded up on, but you can never have to many play makers at any position.
If Edwards can devote himself on and off the field to be successful, he should leave Arkansas State with a degree and the potential to have a very solid draft grade to further his career, according to McBride. This is what Arkansas State is all about. They are doing their part to make sure student athletes find success on and off the field and find them job placement upon the completion of their career at Arkansas State and now Edwards will be a beneficiary of such a great program.