ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – You might not recognize Blue Devils’ senior Nehemiah Edwards without hair pouring out the back of his helmet.
“I cut it; it was time for a change,” he said. “Two or three years with it got a little tiresome.”
But, his close-cropped style doesn’t seem to have impacted his game one bit.
“I got the haircut on Friday, so probably not,” he said.
“He told me he got his hair cut for school on Friday,” Unicoi County head football coach Drew Rice said with a smile. “I said, ‘well, I guess we’re going to need to get a haircut every week then.’ So, if he plays like that, we’ll see if we can try to make that happen.”
The big running back carried the ball 18 times against Madison, North Carolina on Friday, picking up 220 yards and scoring a trio of touchdowns. In one of those scores, Edwards toted the ball 99 yards to find paydirt.
He also posted the eye-catching stat line while playing only one series in the second half.
“He’s special, and we’ve known that for a long time. It’s a credit to him and how he approaches the game,” Rice said.
Edwards’ approach in the backfield is pretty simple.
“Find a hole, shoot it and score – that’s what I want to do,” he said.
That’s exactly what he’s done throughout the first three games of his senior season, all of which the Blue Devils have won.
“Power formations was killing it,” he said. “We hit a few passes here and there, but just tough, hard-nosed football is what got us there.”
“It makes calling plays easy – or easier,” Rice said.
It’s easy for Rice to trust his senior running back not only because of the way he performs but because of the way he leads, as well.
“He leads by example in how he works and how he prepares,” Rice said.
“He’s the first to congratulate his teammates and give them credit, and he’s all the time,” Rice said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard him do an interview where he didn’t talk about his offensive line.”
“Most of us grew up playing football together, except for like one of us and he’s welcomed in like family,” Edwards said of the line.
“There’s a lot of guys that like being a football player, but Nehemiah truly loves football,” Rice said.