Bryan Edwards’ acclaimed football career at Conway is over.
The star receiver and University of South Carolina commitment suffered a non-contact right knee injury during Friday’s win over South Florence. He underwent an MRI on Monday, and while coach Chuck Jordan would not specify the extent of the damage, he said Edwards will not play again for the Tigers, nor will he be able to participate in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas or the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the two all-star events he was selected for earlier this month.
“The bottom line is, he’s done. It breaks my heart,” Jordan said. “I feel like someone punched me in the gut. Not from a team standpoint, but for the kid. He’s got the Shrine Bowl in front of him, the Army All-American game.
“I want to cry for that kid. … You have such a wonderful, wonderful career, and it’s over.”
Edwards, who has helped Conway to an 8-1 overall record and 3-0 start in Region VI-AAAA, had 53 receptions for 969 yards and nine touchdowns this season. The production and his commitment to USC made him a lock for the Shrine Bowl. A week after earning that honor, he was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and then named as one of five finalists for South Carolina Mr. Football, the annual honor given to the state’s top player.
His career had been building toward that since he was a 13-year-old freshman who caught a touchdown in the first game of the 2012 season. In 41 games, Edwards caught 188 passes for 2,562 yards and 32 touchdowns.
He was also a dangerous punt returner - he had a special teams touchdown in the South Florence game - and stepped in on the defensive secondary when needed. His production in all three phases of the game gave every opposing team a focal point.
Edwards is on pace to graduate early from Conway so that he can enroll at USC for the spring semester and take part in offseason conditioning with the Gamecocks. Jordan said he doesn’t believe the injury will change that plan.
However, the immediate future for him will not include playing another down for Conway.
“It affects us obviously, as a team, but I haven’t even thought about that yet,” Jordan said. “Bryan gives so much and doesn’t ask for anything.”