By: Jonathan Schillace, Seminoles.com
Before Jr. there was Sr. A tenacious cornerback for the Seminoles in the late 90’s.
“Anytime you went around the neighborhood playing football everyone would yell out who their favorite player was,” Mario Edwards Jr said. “‘I’m Deion,’ or ‘I’m this type of running back,’ I would always say I was my dad. I looked up to him a lot when I was younger and still do.”
Now father and son, get to share a field. The same field that Mario Edwards Sr. once patrolled, now is a ground for Jr. to wreak havoc in the offensive backfield.
“It’s gratifying,” Mario Edwards Sr. said. “Just to see that I have done something, or body of work, he would like to patent himself after and follow. Coming to Florida State, the University I attended and also wearing the same jersey number, I’m a proud parent.”
Whether it’s walking to practice or just stretching out, the two are inseparable.
“When I left here to go to the NFL, he was about seven,” Edwards Sr. said. “We have been together ever since. We have a pretty tight bond. We have been rolling together for a long time.”
“Besides my grandmother and my uncles, my dad has always been there,” Edwards Jr. said. “He’s instilled all the things in me to become the type of guy I am today.”
Mario has become one of the best defensive ends in the nation, but it all begins in practice
“Being on the sidelines and having an opportunity to watch him play, watch him develop each week, get better,” Edwards Sr. said. “It’s a testament to him. All the hard work he’s done and finally being able to see it pay off for him.”
Senior and Junior not only share the same number, the same team, but also a national championship. This year they begin a new chapter together and it starts back at home for the two. The very place where Mario Edwards Sr. began his NFL career.
“I think me playing here at Florida State and winning a national championship, and Mario having an opportunity to play here and win the next national championship, that was won last year, and having a chance to go back home, I call Dallas home, kind of where it all got started for him and me, it is coming full circle,” said Edwards Sr.
As similarities continue, junior will look to keep the Edwards legacy in the pros.
“For him to say, ‘I see that dominant player that I saw in your junior and senior year of high school when you were the number one player.’ For him to come and say, ‘Son, you have a great chance to be better than I was.’ For him to say those words to me meant a lot.” said Edwards Jr.