Ouachita Parish High School
4.7 second 40
Like with Deangelo Peterson, there were a few anxious moments in the recruitment of Tyler Edwards. Nick Saban over at Alabama wanted him badly, and Edwards was definitely listening. Tyler's older brother Eric Edwards had been a tight end for LSU under Saban, and the two had a pretty good relationship. It was touch and go as to whether the younger Edwards would join the elder Edwards' alma mater or his former head coach. In January of 2008, however, Edwards ended the speculation by committing to LSU at the US Army All-America game, a televised high school All-Star game.
I think Edwards is a solid player, but in the interest of making sure you know all the facts, Barton Simmons at Rivals named him as a "Stock Falling" late in the recruiting year, saying:
Edwards is a blue-collar player with a hard nosed style. He has a chance to be a very solid player at the next level but he looked a step below many of his teammates athletically during the week.
Link here. When you think about it though, saying a tight end is a "step below many of his teammates athletically" isn't really all that big of a deal. Tight ends aren't expected to run 4.4s or jump 35 inches. They're expected to block and get upfield to catch passes in the middle of the field.
That first part of Simmons' analysis, the part about him being a "blue-collar player with a hard nosed style" sounds much more complimentary of Tyler than the part about him not being athletic seems derogatory. Besides, every college football team needs a hard-nosed tight end.
In Tyler's videos, I see a kid who (unlike a lot of "blue chip" tight ends) isn't afraid to block someone. He also has pretty good hands, and gets up the field pretty well. He's like a clone of Richard Dickson, who is now known as a great receiving tight end, but who started his entire freshman year and developed a reputation as a solid blocker who rarely caught a pass.
At 6'3" and 240 pounds (and with a beard much nicer than any I can grow, by the way), Edwards is right now the perfect size for a combo tight end. Any bigger, and he'll probably lose the speed necessary to get downfield in a hurry. Any smaller, and he'll be overmatched at the line of scrimmage.
If the LSU coaching staff decides he really does lack the athleticism necessary to be an elite receiving tight end, they will probably bulk him up a little and make him a blocker, which would be fine. LSU has a long history of solid blocking tight ends, including his brother Eric. It's a job someone has to do, even though it is not particularly glamorous. Last year's primary blocking tight end parlayed his skills into an NFL contract and 7th round draft selection. There's a future there, not only at the college level, but at the NFL level as well.
I don't know if Tyler Edwards will get that far, as the competition will be pretty fierce even at LSU, but he's a solid guy who will have every opportunity.