The Midlands has the least amount of state's, but still churns out the second highest amount of…
Big Season on Tap for Edwards Jr.
Scout.com 5-star prospect Mario Edwards Jr., a 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end from Denton Ryan High was not allowed to enter the Raider's final scrimmage on Thursday, the top-ranked player in Texas would qualify as being too valuable to risk losing before the season's first game. But when the team kick's it off on television against Sulphur Springs you can probably bet that Edwards' number will be one of the first ones called. "I am pretty anxious," Edwards said about the start of the season. "Coach has been sitting me out to hold me, I guess, for the first game. I am just real excited for it." Edwards began his high school career at Prosper High, but felt like a move to Denton Ryan just prior to his junior season has had a positive effect on his life and career thus far. "It has paid off great," Edwards confirmed. "I believe that coming to Denton Ryan was probably the best thing for me. It is the best school to be at education wise and a great place to come play football." Ryan made it all of the way to 4A State Championship game last season, but fell short of the title by dropping the title game to Lake Travis 27-7. "Capitalize on the little things," Edwards said when asked what they needed to do to take the next steps and win it all. "The little things are what kept us from winning it all last year, really just focusing on the little things and the rest will take care of itself." Edwards is already considered as a well-schooled defensive prospect -- his father (Mario Sr.) starred in college at Florida State and has done a great job preparing his son on and off the field -- but this off-season Edwards concentrated on getting better with his technique. "(I need to) use my hands more, instead of just bull rushing, I guess you could say to give me a little bit more in my arsenal to help me, use my hands, speed rush, bull rush, stab and stuff like that." On the recruiting front Edwards, like his dad, has issued a verbal commitment to play at Florida State. This summer he made it out to Tallahassee for an unofficial visit, his first one as a commit. "It was good just getting back around the players, developing a relationship with them," Edwards informed. "I chilled with Karlos Williams and Nigel Bradham and they showed me around Florida. It was a good feel to go out there and see Jimbo and all of my coaches and everything." "I am actually going there (FSU) for the OU game and maybe the Miami game too." Edwards also took a trip to Norman, Oklahoma to see the Sooners program and those were the only two trips he took over the summer. "I really liked OU. OU worked pretty hard and they have a nice facility as well." Those two programs will actually be playing each other this season again, and many pundits believe that the winner could win the BCS and Edwards agrees. "If Florida State wins they will be ranked higher and OU is already number one, so I basically think you have two great teams facing off against one another. So I think wins is going to win the championship." Edwards has not yet scheduled any official visits to any other schools outside of FSU, but is not ruling them out completely. "Right now I don't have any, but we are trying to look to see what schools I want to go look at." With a visit to OU and possible trips forthcoming what would have the 5-star DE thinking about switching his commitment and inking with someone else besides FSU come signing day? "That's really a hard question," Edwards said. "I think my commitment is pretty solid, but it would have to take a lot of showing me what they think I can do for them, what they want me to do and everything, but right now Florida State has my attention." As a junior, Edwards racked up 127 tackles, 18 sacks, 50 tackles for loss and two-fumble recoveries that he returned for touchdowns.
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