FAYETTEVILLE — Senior linebacker Deon Edwards is using his COVID season at Arkansas which wasn’t always a given.
Edwards, 6-1, 220, opted to enter the transfer portal following the 2020 season where he only played in five games, had two tackles and recovered a fumble. Michael Scherer was hired to replace Rion Rhoades and wanted no part of Edwards leaving and talked about what it means to have him back.
“It means everything,” Scherer said. “I love DeDe, our room loves DeDe, our team loves DeDe. He adds a special dynamic to our linebacker room. He really brings the room a lot closer. As soon as I had an idea that I might be here, I made sure that we called DeDe and talked to him. We made sure that he didn’t want to go anywhere, because we need him.”
In addition to the help Edwards will provide at linebacker, it’s also worth noting in June he was a player host for recruits virtually each weekend. Scherer talked about what makes Edwards a good recruiting host.
“With DeDe, he’s just a great person,” Scherer said. “He’s just a great person. He loves his teammates, his teammates love him. He has fun with them and he works hard. He does everything right. He does everything the right way and his teammates respect it. If your teammates respect you, that’s all you need. We love DeDe and we’re happier than heck that he’s here.”
Hayden Henry also talked about Edwards being a very good recruiting host.
“Well, he’s got one of the biggest personalities on the team,” Henry said. “Extremely contagious spirit. Great guy to be around. Just fills the locker room up with his energy. Just one of the most selfless people on the team, would give the shirt off his back for you. Cares about everyone in the locker room. Just an outstanding teammate, even better player. Can’t even begin to stop at what DeDe would do for anyone. The guy’s unbelievable. You’d see why he’s a host. To be a host for a recruit, you’ve got to be a stud, so DeDe, he’s obviously one-of-a-kind.”
Grant Morgan also talked about Edwards hosting recruits.
“To piggyback on that, DeDe is one of the guys who is unique in his own way,” Morgan said. “He comes from Florida. He may not sound like you, may not talk like you, but every single person in that room relates to him because they know he works as hard as everybody. He pushes as hard as anybody. He could have been gone and out of here. He could have said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to be a Razorback any more,’ and the fact he’s still here fighting with us. He’s never once whined about it. He’s never once said, ‘I should be playing.’ He’s just continued to be like, ‘I’m so happy for you Grant, I’m so happy for Bumper, Hayden.’ He’s the best teammate, the best guy to be around. It really, honestly, I was in the quads with him. To see us kind of grow up and be together, I told him right before he entered his name in the transfer portal, ‘You will always be my brother. No matter what, you’ll always be my brother.’ That’s what I mean and what I said exactly how it was.”
In addition to Scherer, Morgan also talked to Edwards about coming back.
“I talked to DeDe throughout it,” Morgan said. “The big thing with him is he was just trying to find the best possibility for him, the best place to be for him. He ended up realizing it was here. He got offers. He was looked at by other schools. He got offers. He wanted to go do it. His big thing is he wants to be able to play football for a while and he’s got his degree and he’s looking at other things. The thing for him is he wanted the best possibility for him and he just wanted to be here. He knows that we can be great here. It was really good for him to come back, too, because he has been a guy who’s been with us. He’s moved around from safety to linebacker and he’s learned the defense so much. Right now he’s playing probably the best ball he’s ever played.”
Edwards played high school football at Clermont (Fla.) Lake Minneola.