The North Carolina Tar Heels received some good news on Tuesday when 3-star tight end Avery Edwards (Raleigh, NC) gave his verbal commitment to head coach Larry Fedora. Avery is the 14th commitment for the Heels in the 2014 recruiting class, which some analysts rank as high as 16th-best in the country.
Edwards, at 6-foot 5, 220-pounds, has an excellent frame, but will need to bulk up more before making an impact in the ACC. He’ll never be the fastest guy on the field, but does a good job of getting open on short and intermediate routes. He’s got absolutely superb hands and runs crisp routes.
He does a good job of reading defensive coverages and making proper adjustments on the run, and considering how well Fedora runs his explosive offense, Edwards will be a mismatch against nearly any defense.
Another big thing he has going for him is his blocking ability. In the NFL, you have to be able to block to play tight end (unless you’re a 4.4 kind of athlete). At the college game, it’s much harder to find tight ends who are worth a darn at blocking. And at the prep level, you almost never see tight ends who can block, nonetheless actually want to block.
Edwards is a willing and able blocker. He gives a good punch and is adept at chipping off to the second level. Again, he’ll need to gain more weight and strength to be an effective blocker, but the skills are there.
Will Edwards make an impact for the Tar Heels next fall? It’s hard to say. It will come down to the progress he makes on and off the field of his senior season at the Ravenscroft School. If he can bulk up a little more and get a tad faster, he absolutely could. At worst, he could be an excellent blocking tight end in a two tight set with then-senior Eric Ebron (assuming Ebron sticks around for his senior year). At best, he’ll be split out wide causing mismatches with both safeties and linebackers.
This isn’t a flashy pickup, but it’s a very solid one, especially for a team still getting put together by second year coach Fedora.