Edwards is always endearing — and just as tactful. He’s certainly never helpless. That’s what has made his song-and-dance about struggling to pick up the college game so strange.
Coaches often revert to boring, opaque coach-speak when addressing the media. On ESPN, Edward’s personality came through. He’s an articulate motivator and a critical thinker with apparent emotional intelligence. His intellect for the game didn’t quite come through. But his strength as a manager is what became apparent in his seven years as a broadcast analyst.
That’s what he’s doing when he plays nonplussed. He’s managing the media and the fanbase while he’s likely realizing he’s well-suited for this line of work. He’s playing dead when he knows he’s anything but. He identified his first opportunity to make his first performance in January.
“It’s, I’ll tell you what now, you’re not only recruiting kids, sometimes you’re trying to recruit the parent too. That’s what’s amazing. You have to stay in contact with these kids.”
“I’m calling these kids all the time, making visits, I’m all over the place and you’re asking an 18-year-old kid to come to your university and a lot of these kids have no idea why they’re going to go to your university. They don’t know. They want to be recruited. They want to know how many people are coming to their house, how many head coaches are calling them. It’s an amazing deal.”
Yes, Herm. That’s called recruiting. It is arguably the most important part of your job. It’s why Nick Saban is one of the best coaches in the history of college football. It’s why Saban can’t be beaten.
But you know this. I know this. And Edwards knows this.
He can’t be as dumb as he’s pretending to be. He simply can’t. And his oh-golly routine has continued into February. He addressed signing day, and explained just how “unusual” it is compared to the NFL draft, which was how he acquired young talent as a head coach from 2001 to 2008.
Edwards is college football’s Elle Woods. (Yes, that’s a “Legally Blonde” reference.) But when Edwards’ recruits hit the football field, we’ll find out he’s known what he’s be doing the whole time.
He understands the college game. He’s already playing it.