Name: Donovan Edwards
Weight: 204 lbs.
High school: West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Edwards #36b and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He ran 35 times for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns; caught 20 passes for 265 yards and 1 touchdown; and completed 1 pass for a 75-yard touchdown.
TTB Rating: 90
Edwards didn’t do much at the beginning of his 2021 season, aside from running away from Northern Illinois. In fact, for the entire season, he only averaged over 4.0 yards per carry three times – against Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Ohio State (the last of which included just 1 carry for 8 yards). He showed some talent, but he just never quite had that breakdown came.
And then came Maryland. Through ten games, Edwards had 2 catches for 14 yards. And in game eleven against the Terps, Edwards broke out for 10 catches for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. Michigan used him as a fifth receiver, and nobody from Maryland was prepared or able to cover him. It was the best receiving performance from a Michigan running back in school history, and it came for a guy with 2 career catches up to that point. Then a couple weeks later, Michigan used the threat of him to get a touchdown against Ohio State and a double pass to have him throw a 75-yard touchdown to Roman Wilson.
Edwards wasn’t exactly flying under the radar coming out of high school, considering he was an elite national recruit. But he’s definitely on people’s radar now. With Hassan Haskins having gone to the Tennessee Titans, Edwards seems to be in line for a lot more snaps, including more opportunities to run the ball. He was listed at 190 pounds last season and is up to 204, so hopefully he’s going to be as durable as possible. His array of skills – running, catching, passing – were on display in high school, and perhaps some were unfamiliar with the fact that he was a Wildcat type quarterback at times in high school, too. It remains to be seen whether he can really run between the tackles with regularity, but he can do a lot of different things. He and Blake Corum should make a nice duo out of Michigan’s backfield.
Prediction: Part-time starting running back
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