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Hog Futures: Kendrick Edwards:
New UA receiver confident he will catch on quickly
Kendrick Edwards signed with Arkansas in February.
The seventh in a series profiling newcomers on the 2014 Arkansas Razorbacks football team.
It will be hard to miss some of Arkansas' new receivers when football practice rolls around in the fall.
There is 6-4 junior college transfer Cody Hollister and 6-5 freshman Jack Kraus, but freshman Kendrick Edwards will give the Razorbacks a red-zone look they didn't see much last season when they finished a disappointing 3-9 in Coach Bret Bielema's debut season.
Kendrick Edwards glance
HIGH SCHOOL Miami Norland
NOTEWORTHY Had 15 receptions for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns as a senior. … Caught 24 passes for 443 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior. … Was ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 75 wide receiver coming out of high school. … A three-star prospect acoording to ESPN and recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. … Chose Arkansas over Louisville, Rutgers and Auburn.
Edwards, 6-6, 200 pounds, said he believes he can fill that role and then some going into fall camp.
"I'm tall," said Edwards, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. "I move pretty quick, can run routes and can take it the distance."
Miami Norland Coach Daryle Heidelburg said he believes Edwards has the ability to be a go-to guy, but he said he also could be used as a great decoy inside the 20.
"Kendrick really stretched the field for us," said Heidelburg, whose Vikings went 3-7 last year but 37-5 over the previous three seasons, which included consecutive trips to the state championship game. "He can run and is a big target.
"Hopefully he will be the receiver for them that draws double teams but burns you when you put him in one-one-one situations."
Edwards had 24 receptions for 443 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior for a Miami Norland team that went 9-3. His numbers slipped as a senior (15 receptions, 256 yards, 2 TDs) after the team lost its starting quarterback for much of the season, which led to Heidelburg going from a passing offense to one that was more conservative and took away from Edwards' statistics.
"The Wing-T allowed for more one-on-one opportunities for Kendrick, but we struggled in other areas," Heidelburg said. "He was a great asset to my program. He played rush defensive end at times and was just that guy that always wanted to be in the game.
"We were 3-7, but he was still a productive player and still attracted plenty of attention from college coaches."
Edwards is part of a five-player group from Florida that signed in the spring to play for the Razorbacks. Edwards said Fayetteville already feels like home for him thanks to fellow Florida recruits JoJo Robinson, Randy Ramsey, Anthony Brown and Cornelius Floyd.
"I'm close with the Florida guys, and it has been great getting to know my new teammates," Edwards said. "I'm used to the heat coming from Florida. Picking up the playbook is going to be the biggest thing. I have a lot to learn."
Heidelburg said Edwards will need "to work on his strength and eat better" while at Arkansas. Edwards, who was orally committed to Rutgers at one time, spurned 20 other schools -- including Auburn and Louisville -- to sign with the Razorbacks.
He said he he knew Arkansas was where he needed to be.
"I would like to make it to the pros, but I see us winning a bowl game, hopefully something bigger," Edwards said. "There was no doubt about coming here.
"It's the SEC. It's the best."
Sports on 07/10/2014