The recruitment of Detroit Catholic Central offensive lineman Derek Edwards has gained significant momentum this spring. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound prospect now holds four offers, including one from the Arizona Wildcats.
"That was my first one," Edwards said of the Arizona offer. "I work out at Mike Barwis' gym in Plymouth and he was the [strength and conditioning coach] with Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia and Michigan. I called them and sent them my highlight tape, and probably a week after that they offered me. Definitely they liked the fact that I was training with [Barwis]."
Since receiving the offer from Arizona earlier this spring, Edwards has stayed in close contact with the Wildcat's coaching staff.
"I talk with Coach Calvin Magee. He was the first guy I contacted there," Edwards said. "I've also talked with Rich Rodriguez a lot - three or four times over the phone. Then, I know Coach [Tony] Dews is coming up here to visit probably in the next couple weeks. They are really friendly guys and seem like genuine coaches."
The early offer and subsequent interest Arizona is showing has certainly piqued Edward's interest in the program, and he is starting to familiarize himself with the school.
"I don't really know a whole lot about them," Edwards said. "I've been talking with my dad a little bit and he knows it's a good school academically. They have a pretty solid degree in Business, and that's one of the things I am looking into. Football-wise, I know they are a good Pac-12 school, but I haven't seen them a whole lot because of the whole time zone thing."
Edwards and his parents are planning to make a trip to Arizona to check out the program, but that will likely have to wait until the fall when he can attend on an official visit.
Besides Arizona, Edwards has also received offers from Central Michigan, Toledo and Western Michigan, and has strong interest from several more schools.
"Outside of the four offers, definitely Michigan State has been one of the [most interested]. They were one of the first schools I've talked to," Edwards said. "Then, Syracuse has been big and they said if I perform well at their camp June 10, they don't have any reason why they wouldn't offer me on the spot.
"Outside of that, Maryland has been really big with Coach Tom Brattan. We had a chance to go visit Marlyand and Syracuse over spring break and had a great time doing that. Cincinnati has been big with the offensive line coach, Don Mahoney, and then the recruiting coach for my area, Steve Stripling. Purdue has also been pretty big and I am going down to their camp."
Edwards is looking to attend several camps this summer in hopes of adding to his offer list. Among those he will likely attend include Syracuse, Purdue, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Cincinnati and possibly Central Michigan and Toledo.