Baton Rouge, LA
Desire Street Academy
During his recruitment, Lavar Edwards was not a universally loved prospect. He had a reputation for taking plays off. He may have been out of shape. His team, despite having two LSU signees on it, was a bad team against weak competition.
There is much not to like about him in that respect, but there is more to him. Lavar Edwards, at 300 pounds, was an every down player, playing multiple positions. And when I say "every down", I mean every down on both offense and defense. While a lot of good high school players play both ways and never come off the field, the wide receiver/cornerbacks or running backs/linebackers who do it most of the time aren't carrying around 300 pounds.
When I was watching the NFL Draft, the Saints picked DeMario Pressley, a defensive tackle out of NC State, the player was accused of taking plays off and not having a great motor. The NFL Network analyst said something that stuck with me. Quoting as closely as I recall, "Often, when you draft a player like this and put him in a rotation playing 20 or 30 plays a game instead of the 60 he played in college, they don't have a motor problem anymore." In other words, it's not about drive or desire. It's about physical endurance.
Edwards, possibly not in the shape he needed to be, and carrying 300 pounds, couldn't play the entire game on both sides of the ball at full effectiveness. If he turns around his conditioning and is only asked to play one side of the ball (or even in a rotation), his motor will probably come around as well. If not, well there's always room on the bench.
What's more, at Desire Street, Edwards played a lot of positions, including running back. He also played tight end, offensive line, and all along the defensive line. He is listed as a defensive end (3-star) on Rivals and a tight end (3-star) on Rivals. He's a terrific athlete who can likely play either position, or could slide inside and play offensive guard or defensive tackle. His videos show him running the ball and catching the ball from the tight end position, and he looks very comfortable with his hands and running out in space.
He's clearly too big to be a running back anywhere other than Texas A&M, but an athlete like him could be that dual-threat tight end we haven't had in a long time, or he could be a rush end like a Tyson Jackson. Jackson is actually who he reminds me most of.
I think Edwards is a solid player. He's no guarantee to make it, but then again no one is. He's a guy, however, who I think will find a position and at least be a useful player there, and possibly a star. We'll know more when he gets into proper condition and develops a college body.