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Name: Donovan Edwards
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Edwards #15 and said he would be a part-time starting running back (LINK). He ran 140 times for 991 yards and 7 touchdowns; and caught 18 passes for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 90
Edwards was a borderline 5-star prospect in the class of 2021, and he has not disappointed. As exciting as his 11-reception day was against Maryland his rookie year, nothing compared to his two huge rushing touchdowns against Ohio State last year, breaking the back of the reeling Buckeyes. He had a 75-yard rushing touchdown, and that wasn’t even his biggest play of the game; instead, it was the 85-yarder, which ranks as the #8 longest rushing play in Michigan history.
Edwards got his chance to really stand out after Blake Corum was injured against Illinois. Despite having a broken right hand that forced him to carry the ball exclusively in his left (non-dominant) hand, he had a huge game (216 yards) against Ohio State, ran for 185 yards against Purdue, and ran for 123 yards against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. He was 9 yards away from giving Michigan two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season.
The 2023 season should be another standout year for Edwards, who has now proven himself on some of the biggest stages of college football. While Corum does return and Edwards may be a nominal “backup,” he should get plenty of opportunities in both the running and receiving phases of the game. There has been talk that he has been lining up in the slot, which makes sense because of the departure of Ronnie Bell. Michigan fans also hope that Corum can stay healthy for the entire season, because the outcome against TCU may have been a little different if Michigan’s Heisman-caliber running back had been available for the playoff game. But Edwards is an excellent back in his own right, with game-breaking receiving abilities and big-play speed. There’s a good chance that this will be his final season in Ann Arbor, so let’s enjoy his wearing a winged helmet as much as we can.
Prediction: Part-time starting running back; 1,050 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns; 30 catches for 350 yards, 4 touchdowns