Ben Edwards recruit scouting report: Safety brings the pain

Ben Edwards

Ben Edwards is a safety recruit in the class of 2015 out of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian School. He is listed at 6'0 and 195 pounds, and as of February 2014, he was a consensus three-star recruit and most recruiting services considered him a top-25 safety recruit.

As of early February 2014, Edwards held offers from Ohio State, Auburn, Missouri, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Stanford, among others -- a nice collection of football powers and top academic institutions.

Scouting Edwards: The first thing that pops with Edwards' highlight film is his 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. His style of play reminds me a bit of Robensen Therezie, of Miami (Fla.) Jackson, who went on to play for Auburn in a similar role.

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