With the commitment of Edwards, the Buckeyes have two or three defensive backs in their 2015 class, depending on how you view Eric Glover-Williams. Williams could play either offense or defense at the college level. Jamel Dean, who committed during the football season, is definitely going to be cornerback in college.
This means Ohio State only needs (at most) one more cornerback and one more safety in this class, which is big to have one of their biggest needs wrapped up early. This allows them to focus on other areas without having to fret about shoring up a defensive backfield that struggled mightily last season.
In addition to that, the Buckeyes have managed to score another commitment from the state for Florida – their second of three 2015 commitments – which arguably houses the best high school football talent in America. Last week I wrote about the Buckeyes invading Florida in 2015 and this is one of many players the Ohio State coaching had coveted from the Sunshine State in their 2015 recruiting class.
Perhaps the biggest thing about Edwards' commitment, however, is the in-road it develops with Trinity Christian Academy, a school that houses some of the top prep players in the nation. Two of his teammates are 247Sports Composite five-stars in the form of linebacker Jeffrey Holland and cornerback Kevin Toliver II, who is committed to LSU, but might take a visit to Ohio State this summer. Toliver is currently the #1 overall player in the 2015 class in the Composite rankings.
I think this makes the Buckeyes a legitimate player for Holland, who was already pretty high on the Buckeyes. Toliver, on the other hand, is likely to stick with LSU, but you never know what could happen if the coaching staff is able to get him on campus.
This could also help the Buckeyes with future players who come out of the prestigious prep academy.
Here's what SB Nation Recruiting analyst Bud Elliott had to say about Edwards after he watched the standout safety's tape:
The first thing that pops with Edwards' highlight film is hit hitting. He really punishes ball carriers, exploding though the hips and transferring his energy. This is just a fun film to watch. Often times, Edwards is the recipient of other players on his loaded team making the quarterback or ball carrier try a desperation play, and he is able to move in to deliver the blow to his unsuspecting victim. So violent is Edwards with some of these hits, that he was flagged at least three times in his four-minute highlight tape (some perhaps undeservedly).
Edwards is very good against the run. He closes in a hurry, and takes good angles to the football in his highlights. Of course, a highlight tape wouldn't show a player missing tackles due to bad angles, but it might show a player making a good play even when taking a poor angle, and there's not much of that here. Edwards also picks through traffic pretty well to get clean shots on the ball carrier.
While the big hits are great, Edwards could probably stand to wrap up a bit better. He won't always be on a team that overwhelms its opponent to the extent that Trinity does (at least five seniors will play defense for a BCS team), and he'll have to make more 1-on-1 type tackles at the college level.
Edwards does not seem like the most instinctive safety in pass coverage. Several of his better plays against the pass come from very poorly thrown balls, or bobbles by the receiver. I didn't see him jumping routes and picking off balls, or sticking with receiver step-for-step in coverage. That said, he is very opportunistic.
I think Edwards would fit very well as a third safety in a 4-2-5 or 3-3-5 type of defense, and he may be able to play at 210+ pounds in the future.
Offers from Stanford, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech also indicate that Edwards is a smart student who will have no problems qualifying come National Signing Day 2015.
Elliott went on to compare Edwards favorably to Auburn starter Robenson Therezie. Therezie starts in the Star role in Auburn's D, and could be leveraged similarly in co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash's defense. The Tigers had been considered the favorites for Edwards' services before his pledge.
If you haven't seen the newest Buckeye in action, you can check out his highlights here.
- Ohio State recruiting: Ben Edwards talks commitment
- Ben Edwards commits to Ohio State
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