Derby running back, former Kansas State football pledge Dylan Edwards headed to Notre Dame

·3 min read

This time there was no cheering crowd in the bleachers at the Derby High School gym, just Dylan Edwards flanked by his parents in front of a camera, live streaming.

Edwards, Derby's electric four-star running back, announced on 247 Sports' YouTube channel that he is headed to Notre Dame in 2023. The decision came eight days after he backed out of his oral commitment to Kansas State.

"Through this week there's been a lot of trials and tribulations," Edwards said. "I've gotten a lot of bad calls and bad texts, but I try to look past that and lean on my family and pray to God that I'm making the right decision.

"This is where I want to be, and for the next three or four years I will be committed to the University of Notre Dame."

It all happened quickly for the speedy 5-foot-9, 165-pound Edwards, an all-purpose back and one of the top-rated prospects in Kansas for the 2023 recruiting cycle. A day after receiving an offer from Notre Dame, he was on his way to South Bend, Indiana, for a visit, then on July 29, he announced on social media, that he was decommitting from Kansas State.

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In between, he also picked up an offer from Oregon, and said before Saturday's announcement that the Ducks and K-State were his other finalists. But Notre Dame was clearly No. 1 in his heart dating back for over a year.

He visited the school last summer and liked what he saw, but did not receive a scholarship offer from coach Brian Kelly and his staff. Kelly then left for LSU in December, 2021, and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was promoted to head coach.

New backs coach Deland McCullough got back in touch with Edwards, and it took off from there.

"Coach Deland, he offered me when he was at Indiana, and he always said he was coming for me when he was somewhere even bigger," Edwards said. "So he went to Notre Dame and we were just talking all through that time, and he said it was time for me to come visit and again they extended me an offer, and I came there the next day, and here we are now."

Edwards, a Derby senior, had a huge junior season in 2021, rushing for 2,603 yards and 38 touchdowns, with eight catches for 101 yards in helping the Panthers to a state runner-up finish in Class 5A. He originally chose K-State over Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Edwards, who has been clocked in 4.35 seconds for the 40-yard dash, said he expects to provide more of the same to Notre Dame.

"Notre Dame, I feel like haven't had the speed on their team that I have," he said. "I can bring a new level of play-making, just making plays. I think I can do that when I get to South Bend, so I can't wait to get there.

"They're not in a conference, so it's not all about conference, it's about winning a national championship, and I think under Freeman we can do that."

Arne Green is based in Salina and covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be reached at agreen@gannett.com or on Twitter at @arnegreen.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Derby High School running back Dylan Edwards commits to Notre Dame