Dylan Edwards, a composite 4* (per 247 Sports), 5’9, 165 pound running back out of Derby High School in Derby, Kansas, verbally committed to Kansas State over Oklahoma and Nebraska earlier today.
Rivals considers Edwards the 3rd best player in the state of Kansas and the 10th best all-purpose back in the nation in the 2023 recruiting class. Edwards holds 33 scholarship offers, including offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Jackson State, Missouri, Mississippi State, Oregon, Purdue, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In the end, it came down to a regional battle between the Wildcats, Sooners, and Huskers. The Sooners were considered the early favorites for the dynamic back out of Wichita, but K-State’s dogged recruiting effort, spearheaded by running back coach Brian Anderson and director of football recruiting Taylor Braet, won out in the end. Edwards is the most sought after player landed by Kansas State in the Klieman era.
The basic pitch to Edwards was simple, “See Deuce? You can do that as well, and we’ll give you the chance to prove it on the field.”
Edwards is an explosive athlete, and would be one of the top players in the nation if he were bigger (although maybe he wouldn’t be the same player if he were bigger?). He is a killer in the return game, can catch the ball like a wide receiver, and run both inside and outside the tackles. Much like Deuce, his low center of gravity allows him to cut in ways defenders can’t cut. If he gets a defender in open space, their only hope is an ankle slap as he runs by. He also uses his low center of gravity to bounce of tackles, despite his small stature — again, very similar to Deuce.
The Vaughn comparison is obvious, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves . What makes Deuce elite as a small back is his ability to run both inside and outside the tackles. As I mentioned above, Edwards has the same ability at the high school level, but he’ll have to carry that over to college, where the guys are bigger, faster, and stronger. He’ll need to adopt Deuce’s ability to avoid the big hit, and prove his ability to grind out the tough yards inside the tackle box to win the the starting job at K-State.
At this point, I see him as more of an “all-purpose” player, and not an every down grinder, but he’ll have every opportunity to prove me wrong.
This is a massive recruiting win for Coach Klieman and the Wildcats. They went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma and Nebraska and came out on top. That hasn’t happened in a while. Kansas State recruiting is red hot at the moment, and having Edwards on board in June to help recruiting will be a huge benefit.
Edwards is doing everything in his power to convince 4* Maize quarterback Avery Johnson to join him in Manhattan. Johnson got an up close and personal look at Dylan grabbing the purple hat today, as he was in attendance.
Avery Johnson has made it to Dylan Edwards’ announcement. pic.twitter.com/KHq4vwhk3f— Derek Young (@DYoungRivals) June 23, 2022
*Shout out to Derek Young and his crew over at K-State Online (Rivals) for their great recruiting coverage. Those guys grind hard. If you’re into recruiting, I recommend KSO.
Dylan wasted no time with his K-State recruiting pitch.
Dylan Edwards: We’re going to have the best class ever at Kansas State.— Derek Young (@DYoungRivals) June 23, 2022
“Avery Johnson, I’m coming.”
This is the first time in the Klieman era that the Wildcats have a star the caliber of Edwards to lead the in-state recruiting charge. This is one of the deepest Kansas high school football classes in recent memory, and the coaching staff is crushing it right now. 4 of the top 10 players in Kansas are committed already, and they are the favorite to land Avery Johnson.
Johnson’s commitment date is set for July 5th, and if he chooses the Wildcats over Washington and Oregon, things could really get interesting.
I wrote Edwards off a while ago. I assumed he would end up at Oklahoma, but thanks to Lincoln Riley (thanks Linc), things opened up and K-State, who never assumed he would end up at Oklahoma, sealed the deal.
This is the type of recruiting I expected from this coaching staff, and it’s coming right around when I expected it. They’ve been “building relationships” with in-state players and coaches over the last three years. It’s not a coincidence that in year four, those relationships are starting to pay dividends. It’s one of the big reasons I think promoting Collin Klein to Offensive Coordinator was the right call.
As I mentioned in my last article, part of this momentum is tied to two 8-win seasons in the last three years, and that winning needs to continue. Recruiting momentum is a fickle thing, and winning is the best way to sustain. The Wildcats have the momentum at the moment, making the 2022 season even more crucial.
Now, onto July 5th.