The Massachusetts Minutemen received another verbal pledge to their 2016 class on Thursday from 3-star TE Taylor Edwards out of Alexis I. Dupont HS in Wilmington, Delaware. Edwards is one of the highest rated recruits to commit to UMass in the program's history, and he was kind enough to speak with Hustle Belt about his decision to choose UMass.
"I felt like the first time I spoke to [Running Backs] Coach [Darius] Smith that I could really trust him with anything, he's one of the biggest reasons I committed to UMass," Edwards said. "When he first came down to my school he told me that I could be up to the level that [former UMass TE] Jean Sifrin is at."
Sifrin had a great deal of success in his lone season in Amherst, and if Edwards can match that over 4 years, he will be a very prolific player.
Edwards has visited the UMass campus in Amherst a couple of times, and his impressions of the school had a big impact on his decision as well.
"When I went up there for a visit I felt like I was at home to be honest. They had great food, a nice big campus, the players, everybody was real friendly. I liked how just about all the coaches had some ties to the NFL, and that's my ultimate goal. I feel as though my chances of making it to the next level are pretty big, even though [UMass] isn't in a big conference I feel confident I can go somewhere far."
Edwards said the the Minutemen plan to utilize him as a TE in a role similar to the one Rodney Mills and Sharif Custis occupy now, but that they also plan to flex him outside in their formations as well, which played a role in his decision.
Edwards wants to major in Criminal Justice while at UMass, and when his football career is over he wants to give back and help inner-city youth.
"I want to give back like I was given back to as a kid. I didn't have the best come up but some great guys came into my life and helped me get to where I'm at now. Without them I wouldn't be where I'm at now. I just want to help every kid that's gone through what I've gone through. Not every kids gets this opportunity so I just want to come back and help every kid that needs it."
Unfortunately Edwards' senior season was cut short by a knee injury, however he will be ready for the start of UMass' fall camp and is very excited to get up to Amherst and contribute to the Minutemen in 2016 and beyond.
Check out Edwards' highlights here, courtesy of Hudl: