The season we are all awaiting - Nebrasketball season, of course - is now 88 days away. Our player profiles continue with yet another newcomer: former top-100 recruit Keon Edwards.
A 6-7, 185 pound small forward, Edwards was originally a part of the 2021 class, a consensus 4-star prospect ranked 80th overall by Rivals, 75th by 247Sports, 41st by ESPN, and in Sports Illustrated’s top 99. He starts his Husker career as a true freshman, despite playing in five games for DePaul during this past season.
Like many recent Husker recruits, Edwards took a winding road to Lincoln. He moved from his native Houston, TX to Findlay Prep in Henderson, NV for his sophomore year. Findlay abruptly closed its doors over Memorial Day weekend in 2019, so he then headed for Gilbert, AZ and Hillcrest Prep, where he averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.9 blocks. Edwards helped push Hillcrest as high as the 2nd-ranked prep team nationally.
Late last November, with his high school season in doubt due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Edwards reclassified from the 2021 recruiting class to 2020, allowing him to enroll early at DePaul over Maryland, Florida State, and others. Despite the timing of his commitment, he was with the Blue Demons for the entirety of their 2020-21 schedule, as their first four games were canceled due to Covid concerns. DePaul lost nine games total to cancellation, and Edwards himself was positive for the virus during the season.
Limited to just five games, Edwards averaged 1.8 points and 0.8 rebounds per game, playing just 39 total minutes all year. His best performance came February 24 at the CHI Center against Creighton, scoring three points and grabbing two boards in a loss to the Bluejays. He also played 14 minutes at Madison Square Garden in a Big East Tournament loss to UConn, adding two free throws and a rebound.
DePaul fired head coach Dave Leitao after a 5-14 season, and Edwards entered the transfer portal shortly after that in late March. Having been offered by Fred Hoiberg shortly after his hire to Nebraska in 2019, Edwards was familiar with NU. Hoiberg and lead recruiting assistant Matt Abdelmassih went to work, first meeting with him via Zoom in early April, then hosting him on a virtual visit. Edwards committed to Nebraska on April 17 over Alabama, Auburn, and others, and signed on April 19.
Edwards can play the 2, 3, or 4 spot on the floor for the Huskers with his combination of size and ball handling skill. In his last full season, his 2019-20 year with Hillcrest Prep, he shot 45 percent overall and 43 percent from 3-point range. He is a capable volume scorer, dropping 44 points in one game (one point better than new teammate Alonzo Verge’s 43 that same season for Arizona State against St. Mary’s).
Keep grinding, everyone! We’re almost to the season – Nebrasketball season.