Buford (Ga.) athlete KingJospeh Edwards has endured a hectic beginning to his recruitment cycle.
Quickly growing to be a coveted 2024 recruit, Edwards has been able to tour a slew of the nation’s top schools in the past few months. Trips to Texas A&M, Florida State, Louisville, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas and Alabama highlight the illustrious list.
On Friday, Edwards traveled to Florida for the second time, continuing his busy spring and summer schedule of trips. He spoke with AllGators about the visit after the fact.
“They are a top state school academically with a new staff [trying] to build a five-star program.” He billed his one-day trek to Gainesville as “very impressive.”
Being his first visit under the new staff, the highly regarded athlete got his chance to view the unique aspects of the University of Florida compared to the last time he stopped in.
Simultaneously, despite being someone who holds a bevy of offers from top-tier Power Five schools around the country, Edwards was extended an offer from the Gators. It marked his offer No. 33 on the widely impressive list of schools for the 2024 prospect.
Serving as an athlete prospect with the rare potential to align on both sides of the ball at the next level, Edwards shares that his offer covers both the tight end and defensive end positions he assumes at the high school level.
Standing at 6-foot-5, 242 pounds, he has shown tremendous upside as an explosive pass rusher in stand-up scenarios. His ability to beat offensive tackles to the spot with an effective bend for someone his age and desire quickness.
He accounted for 42 tackles and a sack as a sophomore with Hebron Christian Academy before flashing those skills during his UA camp appearance in Atlanta early in 2022.
However, while the usual topics of an unofficial visit focus on the football aspects of the journey, Edwards’ connection with the Florida staff drastically differed from the norm.
Spending most of the day with head coach Billy Napier, Edwards discussed the importance of remaining humble, driven and teachable while receiving significant interest as a football player.
Those conversations stood out to him as the highlight of his trip.
"My talk with Napier about staying grounded and humble was the highlight of my visit,” he said. “He spoke to me about my nonprofit organization and staying humble. He was interested in how I help others and how I plan to stay grounded.”
Operating a program called Helping Hands and More, Edwards makes an effort to feed and clothe the homeless multiple times a year in his area.
Although football is a considerable aspect of Edwards’ life, he believes it can be a beacon for what he considers to be his greater purpose.
“It’s my passion to help others,” he said. “My goal is to major in psychology in college to help people cope mentally with life and other issues they may be dealing with.”
Edwards, who intends to move forward with the Gators in his top list of schools, views the program Napier is building at the University of Florida as a potential stepping stone to his mission beyond football.
“They have a program where they help the underprivileged by volunteering,” he said about the benefits of UF for his cause. “I can facilitate my organization with their program and reach a bigger number of people to service.”
Because of that fact and the direction he sees the Florida program heading under the new regime, Edwards will move forward with Florida highly regarded as a school in contention for his services, when the time comes.
“Gators are in my top 5,” he said.
The talented two-way prospect is eyeing an in-season return date to Gainesville, where he can learn more about the opportunities at UF on and off the field.
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