Duke Commit Takes in WVU Camp - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Duke Commit Takes in WVU Camp

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia hosted a talented cornerback on Sunday as its weekend of football camps wrapped up at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Unlike many of the athletes in attendance, this one had already committed to a school – and that school is not WVU.

Evrett Edwards, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound cornerback out of Woodbridge, Va., is currently listed as a commit at Duke University. He pledged with the Blue Devils back in March, but made it clear to them that he intended to continue with his plan to run through the camp circuit in the summer.

"I can be one of the best in Virginia, but that doesn't mean I'm one of the best in the nation," says Edwards. "I go around to these schools so I can compete with different athletes. I think it's actually a lot easier for me to compete with the kids from across the country."

He says the reason it can seem easier is because he studies the game and what he sees on film so much that he can rely on natural instinct rather than playing based on tendencies when facing the same players in the Virginia area.

Edwards' parents grew up in south Louisiana before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Edwards was born and where football was a way of life.

His mother says, without a hint of a smile, that she shuts everything down and doesn't answer the phone on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays during the fall. Those are football days, and she won't be interrupted while any games are on.

Yet, when Edwards began showing real interest in the game his parents loved, they would not let him play. He had to show that he was ready, and their approach to making him ready was not to simply throw him out on a field and let him grow from experience.

"They told me if I want this to be my craft, I have to perfect it," he says. "We'll sit down and dissect film together. We pull out an iPad and put it right next to the TV so we can look at different angles of what the receiver is doing. Then we'll go outside and I have a position trainer and we'll apply what we learned from video to actual field work."

Edwards says that by seventh grade, he knew exactly what the BCS was and could name each conference that comprised its automatic qualifiers. He knew more about the sport than many of his friends who went out and played it just about everyday and finally, when he entered high school, he got to join them.

After three years on the field at Woodbridge High School, Edwards is rated as a 3-star defender getting looks from quality collegiate programs, including WVU. When he goes to camps outside of his comfort zone, he finds that he takes on the competition as well or better than he does at his own high school.

"BETTER AT CAMPS"

On Sunday, Edwards rolled his hamstring and was visibly limping, but continued to lineup to defend. Without a clock to simulate a pass rush, receivers were able to run unrealistic routes to get open, but still, more often than not, Edwards was able to stay with his opposition.

He gives some of the credit to Andrew McGee, WVU's defensive graduate assistant, who shared a new technique with Edwards before one-on-one work began.

"At one point, I got really aggressive and all the receivers were expecting that," Edwards admits. "Then I showed them something different and then the timing between the quarterback and the receiver was horrendous when I changed it up."

This is why Edwards shows up to these camps. He knows despite the knowledge he gained from his parents and his high school coaches, there is much left to learn. The more opportunities he has to put what he learns to the test, the better.

Edwards has been speaking with WVU cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts for some time now and his interaction with him on Sunday was again positive.

"He likes my approach and how dedicated my whole family is to the game," says Edwards. "I'll get an inspirational quote from him every once in awhile and that's really how our conversations go. He says he likes my swagger and my confidence because at this position, you need to be confident."

He says at this time, he is sticking with his commitment to Duke and he is happy with the decision he made, but he continues to keep an eye and an ear open to coaching staffs that he meets along the way. The Mountaineers are among those he has been listening to.

"I learned today that I'd have a chance for early playing time [at WVU]," says Edwards. "Coach Daron, he's a cool guy. I enjoyed working with him today and I like how he doesn't put up a front. He's been 100 percent the whole time. He hasn't acted one way and then changed when I got on campus today, he's acted like my coach throughout the whole recruiting process. He's spoken to me like I was his player."

Now they each have their own coaches and players to get back to as both Woodbridge and WVU begin their own camps later this week.

Edwards may not withdraw his commitment, but now he can say with confidence that wherever he ends up, he explored all of his options along the way.

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