Instant analysis -- Boom. Texas added another physical, hard-hitting linebacker to an already-impressive group that now consists of elite athletes like Tevin Jackson, Jordan Hicks, and now Steve Edmond in the 2010 and 2011 classes. It's a testament to the competitiveness of Edmond that he is willing to take on what is now a loaded depth chart to compete for playing time with some of the best linebackers in the entire country coming out of high school and a greater testament to the recruiting ability of Will Muschamp. It's the Texas defensive coordinator and linebackers coach selling the vision to these kids of how they will fit into the system and it's clear that the top players are buying what he's selling. And why not? He's selling a chance to maximize their talent and give them a chance at fulfilling their dreams by having a shot at playing on Sundays.
The combination of Muschamp, Mack Brown, and the inherent appeal of the program to Texas high school football players and only a matter of hours after telling Orangebloods that he was planning on waiting to make a decision until the end of the month and that he did not want to rush into a decision, on the afternoon of February 23th, Edmond could wait no longer, not even until the end of his next class. So, in between classes ($), Edmond telephoned the Texas coaching staff to let them know that he was intent on becoming a Longhorn.
It ended a process that sounded all but over in the days before his decision ($), as Edmonds indicated that he was "like 100 percent sure" that he would commit to Texas because of his high comfort level with the program. His Junior Day visit greatly increased that comfort level, as Edmond said before the trip ($) that he wasn't sure about going to Texas because of the depth chart and competition at the position. Apparently those feelings changed after his visit and Edmond decided to join his teammate Chris Jones in Austin.
Instant scouting report -- Against 3A competition, the numbers don't tell as much of a story as they would in a larger classification and stronger district, but they still tell a helluva story -- 182 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, five interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), five sacks, seven forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries. Those numbers are staggering for any player at any level in any classification. In two separate games as a junior, Edmond had 15 or more tackles.
Playing in the Daingerfield 3-3 stack defense, Edmond has plenty of opportunities to play downhill, shoot through the A gap and stuff the running game, which he does with sure tackling and remarkable physicality. Like Tevin Jackson, when Edmond hits a ballcarrier, they don't fall forward to pick up extra yardage -- they go backwards. However, Edmond had a thicker overall frame than Jackson and isn't as lean as the mean Garland product and 2010 commit and probably doesn't have quite the speed either, but he has plenty of range and ability to play from one sideline to the other and also possesses elite feet for a 225-pound linebacker.
It's that 225-pound frame that has may predicting that he could end up at defensive end in college, a position he played out of need for Daingerfield as a sophomore. In fact, his coach says that he expected Edmond to grow into a defensive end already and it's possible that he could play some on the line of scrimmage as a Buck end. A spin down to that position would not occur out of necessity, but rather because Edmond has the ability and frame to play the position.
In my opinion a better prospect than the highly-regarded Skyline star Anthony Wallace because of his feet and explosiveness, Edmond looks like a natural inside or middle linebacker in college and has a college-ready body. Basically, Edmond can afford to maintain his current weight and focus on maximizing his explosiveness. Edmond is probably a borderline candidate for an elusive five-star rating from Rivals, but he is easily a top-10 talent in the state and perhaps the best player in all of East Texas in the class.
Muschamp is building the Texas defense in his image and that image is of linebackers like Jackson, Hicks, and Edmond, guys who will make it an extremely long and bruising 60 minutes for opposing players. Boom.