"He's a big kid," says Edwards. "He's not a prima-dona type. Broadrick is coachable and understands that he still has a lot of learning to do. Everything for him is based on his size and potential. Now we have to help him reach that potential."
Broadrick Jones is rated the No. 6 tackle in the nation and No. 35 player overall for the class of 2020. Seeing Jones' hard work pay off with visits from college recruiters proved to be motivational for the rest of the team.
"It got their attention," says Edwards. "Now our kids know that if you want to play at the next level these are the things that they will have to do."
So far this year "The Big Dawgs" have been making a difference each week. Jones has good company up from with 6-5 330-pound Gerald Sanders and 6-2 310-pound Kelvin Usher. The O-line paves the way for senior tailback Shawn Morris, who is an interesting story as well.
"Shawn Morris is a Hurricane Katrina kid," says Edwards. "His family had moved to Texas and he was a part of a winning program there. He is an excellent example for our team. Our kids are learning how to win and when you are changing the culture you need a player like Shawn Morris to show the work ethic and level of commitment."
Year Two at Lithonia in many ways is like Year One for Edwards, who got the job in late May of 2017. "There was no spring practice," remembers Edwards. "No camps, no 7-on-7s, just getting to know new coaches and new players. I just prayed for the Lord to get me through that first year."
This spring and summer went much better for Edwards, there was spring practice, camps and now he knows everybody. There was even time to hold individual meetings with the seniors. "I had them meet with me, says Edwards. "I wanted to make sure that they held each other accountable."
David Edwards tends to stick close to the teachings of the coaches that Influenced his career, like longtime Cedar Grove coach Ray Bonner, or his college coach Mike White at Illinois and a tall assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers named Tony Dungy.