High School: Mario Edwards Jr.

Denton Ryan celebrates one of its best classes

February, 1, 2012
DENTON, Texas – Denton Ryan coach Joey Florence would have been happy with one signee. After seeing eight players sign national letters of intent Wednesday, he was beaming.

The Raiders had what Florence called “one of the best classes in a long time,” and the scholarships were proof. Led by the nation’s top-ranked player in five-star defensive end Mario Edwards, Ryan opened national signing day with a productive morning ceremony in the Ryan athletics facility.

“We’ve been fortunate at Ryan to have strong classes come through, and this is definitely one of the strongest classes,” Florence said. “It’s good and bad emotions for me: good that their getting scholarships they worked so hard to get and bad because they’re not playing for me anymore. You have mixed emotions, but you’re excited for them.”

Edwards signed with Florida State, while offensive lineman Jordan Williams and defensive end Dominique Banks signed with Missouri and Baylor, respectively. All-purpose athlete Trey Mohair signed with UTSA and will play FBS football next season, as the Roadrunners will move to the WAC.

Cornerback Cedric Harris signed with Colorado State-Pueblo, receiver Sterling Fuggett signed with Evangel (Mo.) University, and offensive lineman Tevin McCray signed with Trinity Valley Community College. Additionally, linebacker Alex De La Torre signed with Texas, and linebacker Jordan Richmond signed with Texas A&M.

De La Torre and Richmond were not in attendance Wednesday. De La Torre graduated in December and is taking classes at Texas. Richmond was in Austin preparing for the 2012 International Bowl, pitting USA’s top under-19 players against top players in the world.

Mario Edwards ties the knot with Florida State

February, 1, 2012

DENTON, Texas -- At 8:10 a.m. CT, Mario Edwards Jr. met pen to paper. The Under Armour All-American signed his national letter of intent to Florida State. Edwards then did something that he felt he hadn't done in weeks.

He smiled.

It's hard to smile when you're stressed out, and Edwards -- like hundreds of other high-profile high school athletes -- went through a stressful recruiting process that included phone calls from recruiters at all hours of the night, repeated text messaging from random media representatives and messages from fans trying to sway him from Florida State by way of Facebook and Twitter.

Early Wednesday morning, Edwards' stress level came to a minimum. The nation's top-ranked player officially was a Seminole.

"I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 3 [a.m.], then 5," said Edwards, proudly wearing a black Florida State sweatshirt and a garnet Seminoles ball cap. "It's a big relief. I can finally enjoy my senior year of high school and prepare myself for the next level."

Read the full story here.

Ryan's Mario Edwards talks about being No. 1

January, 29, 2012
Denton Ryan's Marion Edwards Jr. talks about the recruiting process and what it's like being the nation's top-ranked recruit.
Mario Edwards Jr. decided his first decision was the right one.

After months of waffling on his original commitment to Florida State, the Denton Ryan standout confirmed that he'd stick with Seminoles on his Twitter account.

Its official ima Nole 51 minutes ago via LG Phone · powered by @socialditto

Edwards, widely considered the best prospect in the nation, committed to Florida State last spring but shopped around this fall, considering Texas, LSU and Oklahoma. Edwards' father, Mario Edwards Sr., played at Florida State prior to his pro tenure with the Cowboys.

The defensive end wrapped up his storied high school career with another stellar season this year. He finished 2011 with 28 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and a safety.

He earned back-to-back 4A defensive player of the year honors from ESPNDallas.com and helped lead Denton Ryan to the state-title game in 2010.

Johnathan Gray up to No. 2 in final ESPNU 150

January, 19, 2012

Aledo running back Johnathan Gray moved up three spots to No. 2 in the final ESPNU 150 recruiting rankings, which were released Thursday.

That gives the Dallas-Fort Worth area the top two recruits in the nation. Denton Ryan defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who is committed to Florida State but has been weighing other options, remains at No. 1. Gray is committed to Texas. National signing day is Feb. 1.

Find the final ESPNU 150 here.
DALLAS – The nation’s top recruit said his commitment to Florida State may not be a closed case Thursday.

Denton Ryan defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. sent that message to the audience at the 2011 Tom Landry Award presentation, as well as a local TV audience.

“Right now I am verbally committed to Florida State, but I am keeping my options open,” Edwards said on stage.

Edwards says he still has LSU and Oklahoma under consideration and is also taking a recruiting trip to Texas this weekend. After traveling to Austin, Edwards will take trips to LSU and Oklahoma and said he may even travel west to check out USC.

Edwards says he’s taking time to envision himself in the game plans of schools other than Florida State.

“I’m seeing how I could fit into the scheme of a defense and just the atmosphere of the whole campus,” Edwards said.

Edwards committed to Florida State in March of this year, but was in attendance at Oklahoma’s Big 12 opener against Missouri, according to ESPN HornsNation.

Edwards then told ESPN National Recruiting that after watching OU dismantle Texas in the Red River Rivalry, he saw the Sooners as a good fit.

He went on to say that he wants to escape the shadow of his father, former Florida State and Dallas Cowboys player Mario Edwards Sr., and “start his own trend.”

Edwards also said he had bumped up his weight from 270 pounds to 290 pounds, Thursday.

Edwards was a finalist for the Landry Award, given each year to Dallas-Fort Worth’s top football player, which went to Aledo running back Johnathan Gray.

Edwards, Den. Ryan dominate Sulphur Springs

August, 27, 2011
Top national recruit Mario Edwards Jr. helped Denton Ryan control Sulphur Springs in a 25-9 season-opening victory.

You can watch a replay of the game at ESPN3.com and read a write-up at ESPN HS here.

4A No. 2: Denton Ryan boasts dominating D

August, 18, 2011

2010 record: 15-1

Predicted 2011 regular-season record: 10-0

ESPNDallas.com spring ranking: No. 2

[+] EnlargeEdwards
Travis L.Brown/ESPNDallas.com Top-ranked Mario Edwards Jr. isn't the only big-time recruit on Denton Ryan's defense.
Division I commits: DE Mario Edwards (Florida State), LB Alex De La Torre (Texas), LB Jordan Richmond (Texas A&M), DE Dominique Banks (Baylor)

Why they’re here: Not many opposing quarterbacks will be able to maintain bladder control lining up against Denton Ryan this year.

Mario Edwards, the No. 1 recruit in the nation, lines up on one end of the defensive line. Banks, a Baylor commit, lines up on the other end.

Don't even ask if the Raiders decide to bring some heat with a blitz in their 4-2-5 defense. That's two three-year starters who are headed to the Big 12 coming at you in De La Torre and Richmond.

And if the quarterback actually manages to get the ball out of his hands before getting crunched? Ball-hawk safety Trey Mohair, a two-sport star who's been Ryan's starting point guard since he was a freshman, might just take it the other way for six.

Those five returning starters, the primary defensive players who fueled Ryan's run to the Class 4A Division I state title game in 2010, give the Raiders the foundation for what may be the best defense in the state -- 4A or 5A.

Holes to fill: For the second straight year, Ryan will have turnover at the most important position on the field -- quarterback. Kevin Carpenter will run the offense after serving as a backup last season. Ryan plans to take advantage of his running ability.

Key game: at Wichita Falls Rider, Oct. 6

Ryan DE Mario Edwards tops ESPNU 150

June, 8, 2011
Denton Ryan defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was named the No. 1 recruit in the nation Wednesday by ESPNU's college football recruiting analysts.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Florida State commit recorded 18 sacks and 127 total tackles last season for Ryan on its journey to the Class 4A Division I championship game, where the Raiders lost to Austin Lake Travis.

Here is an excerpt from Mitch Sherman's story on Edwards for ESPN Recruiting:
Last year, when the younger Edwards transferred to Denton Ryan from nearby Prosper High School on the northern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Edwards Sr. joined coach Joey Florence's staff to work with the secondary.

"I'm addicted to it," he said. "I'm addicted to the game."

Edwards Jr. inherited that, too.

"I give his daddy all the credit," Florence said. "He knows what it takes. He brings that professionalism and NFL-caliber energy to our practices."

And the younger Edwards brings an NFL-caliber threat off the edge. Ryan doesn't get too fancy with how it uses Mario Jr. He stays on the right side. Offensive schemes designed to slow him get creative, though they don't often work.

"He's fun to coach, I know that," Florence said.
Also in the top 10 on the ESPNU 150 is Aledo running back and Texas commit, Johnathan Gray, at No. 8.