Donovan Edwards, a local recruit that was able to produce during his freshman season at Michigan. A running back that will play an important role for the Wolverines in 2022.
The story so far
Edwards played high school ball at West Bloomfield, which is about 40 minutes northeast of Ann Arbor, and grew up a Michigan State fan. During Edwards senior season he had 1,021 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns along with 153 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Edwards was the No. 44 rated player nationally and No. 4 RB in 2021 class. The finalists before Edwards chose Michigan were Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Penn State.
“It’s cool to actually build something special, build something from the ground up,” Edwards said in December of 2020. “I honestly see all the other programs winning and doing their thing, but for me, it’s like, why not create something special? Why not rearrange something special and make history?”
Edwards was behind both Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum on the depth chart for much of the 2022 season, but still made his presence known, and displayed why he was such a highly ranked recruit.
“That dude was like one of the most mature freshman I’ve ever seen,” linebacker Josh Ross said. “I’m watching him meditate while he was in the hot tub and it’s like, freshmen don’t do that at all.”
Edwards had a productive game against Northern Illinois, rushing for 86 yards and two touchdowns, but his performance later in the year versus Maryland takes the cake in a historic way. Edwards hauled in ten catches for 170 yards and a touchdown — the 170 receiving yards are the most by a Michigan running back in program history.
After the game Harbaugh made a declaration about Edwards’ trajectory.
“I’ll make this statement, and I don’t like to make a lot of big, hyperbolic statements or whatever — it was a record, it was a great performance, all-time record. But, as I told you earlier, this will be a blip on the radar of the career of Donovan Edwards,” Harbaugh said. “He’s destined for great things.”
Edwards impressed in two other games down the stretch — he had a 75-yard touchdown pass and rushing touchdown in the Big Ten Championship Game versus Iowa, and rushed for 16 yards with three receptions for 49 yards in the College Football Playoff/Orange Bowl.
Outlook moving forward
Edwards should be able to run between the tackles but his speed is what kills, as does his pass-catching prowess. Edwards is going to be a major asset in the passing game in 2022, and also receive a lot more carries with Hassan Haskins out of the picture and in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
Harbaugh called his record-setting performance against Maryland something that will be a blip in the radar of Edwards’ career, and he’s probably right. Edwards hasn’t been on the field a ton but already carries himself like a veteran in his preparation from a physical and mental standpoint. Edwards and Corum will complement each other well, and there’s every reason to expect long touchdowns from Edwards in the running game as well as the passing game. Heck, he might even throw another touchdown pass this season. Edwards is one major piece to the offensive puzzle on an offense that has a lot of weapons. This will be the year the name Donovan Edwards is known nationally.