The Next Level: Edwards helps key Arkansas State's turnaround

Arkansas State defensive back Darron Edwards (left) breaks up a pass intended for Troy wide receiver Felton Payton.
Arkansas State defensive back Darron Edwards (left) breaks up a pass intended for Troy wide receiver Felton Payton. (US Presswire photo by Nelson Chenault)

The Next Level is a weekly Recruiting Report feature that focuses on natives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County who appear on NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters.

Darron Edwards' first season of Division I football ended with his Arkansas State squad finishing a disappointing 2010 campaign at 4-8. The Dunbar grad's second DI season, however, proved to be much more successful.


On Saturday, Edwards capped an excellent senior season by helping Arkansas State to a 45-14 win over Troy, giving the Red Wolves (10-2, 8-0) the outright Sun Belt Conference championship. In the win over the Trojans, Edwards recorded seven tackles (two solo), including 0.5 tackle for loss and one pass breakup.

Edwards, who transferred to ASU from Butler (Kan.) Community College, finished the 2011 season as the Red Wolves' fourth-leading tackler with 49 stops (29 solo), including one tackle for loss and 0.5 sack. He also contributed three interceptions, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups.


Edwards' final game at Arkansas State will take place Jan. 8 when the Red Wolves meet Northern Illinois (10-3) in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

For his play against Troy, and his efforts all season long for ASU, Edwards is your Next Level Player of the Week.

Honorable mention

* West Virginia junior wide receiver Tavon Austin (Dunbar) returned a 90-yard kickoff for a touchdown, rushed four times for 15 yards, and caught seven passes for 54 yards in the Mountaineers' 30-27 win over South Florida.

* Syracuse junior wide receiver Alec Lemon (Arundel) caught eight passes for 99 yards in the Orange's 33-20 loss to Pittsburgh. Lemon finished the season with 68 catches for 834 yards and six touchdowns. Panthers sophomore linebacker Carl Fleming (Franklin) collected one solo tackle.

* Colorado State sophomore linebacker Shaquil Barrett (Baltimore native) made 10 tackles (five solo) and forced a fumble in the Rams' 22-19 loss to Wyoming.

Other contributions

* Connecticut junior safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) contributed two tackles (one solo) in the Huskies' 35-27 loss to Cincinnati.

* New Mexico freshman safety Zach Dancel (Ellicott City native, Good Counsel grad) recorded three tackles (one solo) in the Lobos' 45-0 loss to Boise State.

* UNLV freshman defensive back Mike Horsey (Dunbar) made one solo tackle in the Rebels' 56-9 loss to TCU.

* Virginia Tech sophomore cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount St. Joseph) collected eight tackles (seven solo), including two tackles for loss in the Hokies' 38-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

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