Oct 20, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill answers questions during the post game press conference following the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 38-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

RB Berkley Edwards could play right away for Gophers


Berkley Edwards, brother of NFL receiver Braylon Edwards, is the only running back among the Gophers’ National Football Signing Day signees.

Edwards is a multi-purpose back with his size, speed and receiving skills. He is ranked as the No. 9 all-purpose running back in the country by Rivals.

Coach Jerry Kill is particularly fond of Edwards, calling him “a running back that you can hand it off and it is over, good night.” That is a lot of confidence in a young man that is just joining the team.

The Gophers could use immediate help in the backfield and Edwards may be able to contribute right away. At least, David Shama of Shama Sports Headliners seems to think so:

Will Edwards contribute as a freshman for the Gophers next fall?  Running back is among the positions that freshmen most often earn playing time in college football.  And the Gophers need help in the backfield.

Minnesota has been searching for multiple impact runners.  The Gophers’ leading rusher last season, sophomore Donnell Kirkwood, averaged only 71.2 yards per game.  He had a 38-yard run, the longest of the season by any Minnesota running back and an indication of the minimal explosiveness by the team’s rushing offense.

The most promising of the running backs was freshman Rodrick Williams, the 5-foot-11, 228-pound native of Lewisville, Texas who showed Big Ten quality muscle while often bullying his way through tacklers.  Could the speed and quickness of Edwards be the right complement to Williams next fall?

Edwards has been compared at lot to Ravens running back Ray Rice.

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