The Ball State Cardinals will enter the 2014 season without their starting quarterback Keith Wenning, who will move onto fulfill his dream of making an NFL roster. However, the Cardinals will rely on running back Jahwan Edwards to carry the load and build off of this season’s impressive record (10-2).
The Cardinals were a pass-first team in 2013 and had the ninth best passing offense in the country (333.3 yards per game). The Cardinals used wide receivers Jordan Williams and Willie Snead to stretch defenses, which opened up the rushing attack for Jahwan Edwards.
Edwards is a rare combination of speed and strength and runs bigger than his 5-foot-10, 219-pound frame. He is not afraid to carry the rock and is a very tough inside runner. In 2013, Edwards had 964 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
As the Cardinals will make the transition to a new starting quarterback in 2014, look for head coach Pete Lembo to hang his hat on his senior running back. Whoever wins the starting quarterback job in spring ball will need to rely on Edwards’ leadership and his ability to move the chains in order to take the pressure off of the passing game.
Edwards had three 100-yard performances in 2013 and has averaged over 10 touchdowns in his first three seasons. Entering 2014, Edwards will be poised for a breakout year and could be the top back for the MAC next season. Ball State’s hopes of repeating their superb season will rest on the back of their senior running back.