Bryan Edwards accomplished more than one goal Saturday by competing in The Opening Charlotte regional camp.
The Conway High receiver and Class of 2016 Gamecocks commitment earned an invite to Nike’s elite event The Opening that takes place in Oregon in July. Along the way Edwards felt he answered any questions scouts and recruiting analysts might have about his ability and potential.
“I think I did very well. I tested well and I competed,” he said. “I was a three-star recruit, not too highly recruited. I think a lot of people were sleeping on me and what I could do because of the lack of exposure and lack of camps I went to.”
Edwards was among the few-hundred high school prospects who turned out at Mallard Creek High to showcase their skills in the one-day educational (and competitive) event. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound rising senior ran a 4.53-second 40-yard-dash and a 4.31-second agility drill, and recorded a 37.7-inch vertical jump.
Not bad, Edwards said, for his first large-scale camp outside of on-campus events organized by USC and Clemson.
“People definitely doubted my speed,” Edwards said. “They doubted what I could do on the field. I think I came out here and did well.”
In recruiting circles, Edwards is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN, with Scout and 247Sports listing him with three stars. The 247Sports Composite, which factors in all networks, results in a high three-star rating of .8727, or 71st best receiver in the class.
The Scout rating could be in line for a bump, according to network recruiting analyst Michael Clark, who listed Edwards among his top senior performers at The Opening event.
“Another prospect who deserves a bump in his ranking on Scout,” Clark wrote. “Was looked at more as a possession-type receiver, but he was in great shape, a little taller than expected, and he was arguably the top wideout on Saturday. He caught everything, he got separation, and he gave quarterbacks big windows to throw the ball to.”
Edwards’ offer list, according to 247Sports, totals seven schools and includes USC, Clemson, Georgia and Florida. He committed to the Gamecocks on March 28 as part of a junior day event.
“The Gamecocks were just the spot for me,” he said. “They’ve been recruiting me since I was 13 years old. They never slowed down. Even when people had doubts about me and what I could do, they kept recruiting me.”
Edwards was born in Kansas but raised in South Carolina. The trip to Nike headquarters for The Opening will be his first time on the West Coast.
The competition level, featuring mostly players from the Carolinas and Southeast, was high in Charlotte, Edwards said. The best-of-the-best prospects nationally, more than 150 of them, will join him in Oregon.
“It’s definitely something I dreamed about,” he said. “Ever since I knew about these Nike football camps, I always wanted to go to The Opening. It’s a blessing. I’ve got to thank God.”