Running back Donovan Edwards solidified his commitment to the Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday during the early signing period in college football, but it was far from a lifelong dream. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
Edwards, who hails from West Bloomfield about 40 minutes northeast of Ann Arbor, grew up a Michigan State fan.
“I hated Michigan to be honest with you,” the four-star running back signee told 97.1 The Ticket hosts Michael Stone and Jon Jansen in an interview on Thursday.
The top-50 prospect (No. 44 nationally, No. 4 RB in 2021 class) had his pick of the litter with college powerhouses across the country courting him. The hats on the table for his announcement included Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Penn State in addition to Michigan. Despite what has gone on in Ann Arbor this season, he wants to help the foundation for a revival, not just jump on to an established playoff contender.
“Honestly, it’s cool to actually build something special, build something from the ground up,” Edwards said. “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?”
Michigan, sans a couple of defensive decommitments, was able to not only hang on to the No. 12 class in the country but add to it with Edwards. He says that the relationship he built with members of the class helped secure his decision because of similar outlooks on their situation.
“For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking to a lot of the recruits, just getting to see where their heads are,” Edwards said. “I wanted it to be something where my teammates had the same mentality as me, and it’s crazy because they all have the same type of mentality.”
Why not Michigan State and follow up on a childhood dream? Mark Dantonio had offered him early on in his high school career, but the change in staff was not something that resonated with him.
“That coaching staff changed, different things were just changing around that program,” he said. “I really still like the program, but at that point in time, I just had different options going on. I believe at that time I was really liking Ohio State the most.”
The Buckeyes added a five-star in No. 1 running back TreVeyon Henderson during this recruiting cycle, which paved the way for him to search elsewhere for the school that fit him best.
“It wouldn’t be a problem for me to go in and compete, first and foremost,” Edwards said. “But y’all got what y’all wanted already so it’s like, I might as well just move on myself.”
It was comfort and opportunity that led Edwards to Michigan. He is ready to get to work.
“At the end of the day, I just know Michigan was the best fit for me because it’s where I’m most comfortable, the place where I’m familiar with the environment, the people know who I am already,” he said. “So I just feel like it’s only up from here.”