by Lee Brecheen
June 17, 2011 –Derek Edinburgh of Edna Karr High School is one of the most talented Left Tackles I’ve seen in High School in my 20 plus years of covering recruits from Louisiana. I saw Herman Johnson of LSU, but he was from Texas, and originally from Louisiana. Herman was 6-7, 370 pounds, but I feel like Edinburgh’s feet are a lot better, and his hands and quickness a lot better. Herman played Guard at LSU, but Edinburgh, I believe, has the hands, eyes, feet, and strength to be a dominant Left Tackle or a pulling Guard in college football.
I saw this kid several times pull at 320 pounds, and block not one, not two, but three different players down field on one play. His run blocking and pass blocking are both at a high level. I’ve seen him pass block many big and quick defenders play after play, and make it look like he’s a NFL player.
When Derek gets any stronger in his legs (and I think his legs are pretty strong since he squats 500 plus pounds) he will be the total player for college football. He’s so lean looking at 320, it’s so scary how good he can be. He has long arms and I’m really impressed how low he gets with his hips for pass blocking for such a tall kid at 6-8 in height.
A lot of people don’t understand how good the Lineman are on the West Bank and how big they are, but I do. I filmed over 30 games last year in that area, and the average Defensive End goes 6-1, 240 pounds to 6-3, 260 pounds, and the Defensive Tackles go that size to 320. These kids can move, and I saw Derek man handle these kids that are big and athletic every week. It’s one thing if you’re blocking players who are 200 pounds, but if they are 240 and agile and quick to 300 pounds every down it’s another whole story, and that’s what Derek had to do every week.
I saw a kid years ago at New Iberia High School named Marcus Clavelle (6-7, 365 pounds), who went on to sign with Arkansas in a heated battle with LSU. He ended up just being on the track team in the end, and throwing the Shot Put over 70 feet. I feel like Derek is better than Marcus and quicker. I remember Brad Smalling (6-7, 330 pounds) from West Monroe, but again I feel Derek is better with his feet, upside, and ability to pull, and he’s much leaner over 325 in weight.
Derek has a 3.7 GPA and is qualified with his ACT test score. He benches over 300 pounds and squats over 500 pounds. I feel like his bench in college will one day be 450 to 500 and his squat will be 600 plus in college. He hasn’t scratched the surface of his strength yet.
Whoever gets this kid will be a very lucky coach, and will have a kid who starts either as a True Freshman or as a Red Shirt Freshman, then the NFL when it’s said and done. He has a chance to be special.
I hope you enjoy the interview below with Derek Edinburgh from Edna Karr.
Be sure to check out our online store at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store to pre-order the 2011 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview Issue, where we will have more on Derek and his teammates at Edna Karr for this upcoming season.
LAFM: When did you first start playing football?
DE: I was 15 years old when I first started playing football in the 9th grade. I thought about it in the 8th grade prior to attending Edna Karr High School.
LAFM: And what initially attracted you to it?
DE: The tradition of winning at Edna Karr High School, and me being very competitive. It was hard at first being new to the sport of football.
LAFM: So football has always been a big part of your family?
DE: My whole family are either Saints fans, LSU fans or Tulane fans. I played a lot of Basketball growing up before football.
LAFM: What schools did you guys grow up rooting for?
DE: I was a LSU Tiger Fan. If I was not watching the Saints, I was watching LSU. I knew the LSU fight song as a kid and everyone in my house knew it, but I did not even know what it meant at the time when I was little, I just knew it.
LAFM: And has anyone in your family ever played at the college level?
DE: My dad played some College Basketball when he was younger.
LAFM: You knew you’d become a player eventually, but maybe not necessarily an offensive lineman. What do you like most about the game from that standpoint?
DE: I remember watching the movie The Blindside, and that movie was about a Left Tackle and protecting a Quarterbacks Blindside as a football player. That made a big impression on me to be an Offensive Lineman one day and to be a Left Tackle.
LAFM: What are you currently working most to improve as a player?
DE: I have good feet, but I’m working on my lower body being as strong as my upper body. Coaches love my upper body, but I need to work on bending the hips better for the next level for College Football.
LAFM: As far as the team is concerned, what goals do you have for next year?
DE: I’m a team player, and my #1 goal is to win a State Championship at Edna Karr High School. Then my next goal is to go to College get a degree in Kinesiology.
LAFM: What is the furthest your team has ever made it?
DE: State Championship game last year in 2010. We were runner up in Class 4A to Franklinton High School.
LAFM: Can you talk a little about games or moments that are especially memorable at this point in your career?
DE: My first game as a starter against St Paul’s of Covington at their place. I went up against 2009 Illinois signee Houston Bates, who was super fast off the edge and quick as a Defensive End. Bates showed me a lot with his speed and introduction to the game of football, and where I needed to be from then on. He showed me how fast Defensive Ends are off the edge.
LAFM: What game do you get most revved up for?
DE: O.P. Walker Chargers which is only 5 minutes from Edna Karr High School. People that don’t even play on either team in the area get up for that game every year. If I don’t make the State Championship game in 2011, I will always have that game to remember for the rest of my life.
LAFM: What’s it been like playing for your head coach?
DE: Jabbar Juluke has been awesome. He’s like another father figure to me. He’s always checking on my grades, always motivating me to do better and get better all the time. He’s a good person to be around.
LAFM: Are you originally from Louisiana, and are you trying to stay close to home?
DE: When I was born my dad was in the Navy, so I spent some time in San Diego, California, then we moved here when I was a little kid.
LAFM: Speaking of, what are some schools you’ve been recruited by?
DE: LSU and Colorado have both offered me. I just went to the Florida Gator’s camp, and they might offer soon. Alabama camp is this Saturday and could pick one up this weekend.
LAFM: Have you been to any other camps?
DE: I went to Mississippi State camp and also LSU camps.
LAFM: I assume LSU is your top choice?
DE: I’m really wide open right now. I love the facilities and coaches at LSU, and the games in Death Valley are alive and rocking, but I need to see the other schools and I find most kids growing up have that feel for LSU, because it’s your in state school and everybody there makes you feel at home. That’s why it’s so hard to turn down for a lot of kids.
LAFM: Do you see yourself sticking to offensive line at the college level?
DE: Yes. Left Tackle
LAFM: Do you play any other sports, and if so, are you being recruited for them?
DE: I did play Basketball, but decided for my senior season I will not play Basketball. I also played some Baseball in the past.
LAFM: And finally, what are your current height, weight, and forty time?
DE: My current Height is 6-8, and weight is 320. I run a 5.5/40, but I have never worked on my forty in high school. At Edna Karr we work on agility and quickness overall, but never on the forty yard dash.