Monday was the first day of high school football practice in Michigan and The Detroit News visited a few area teams. Here is the report from West Bloomfield.
West Bloomfield — Donovan Edwards was thrilled to be back on the field, working his way into a big sweat on the first day of high school football practice Monday morning at West Bloomfield.
Edwards was well on his way to an outstanding sophomore season last year when he suffered an ankle injury. He averaged more than 100 yards rushing a game, seven yards per carry, before his injury sidelined him during the final five games.
Edwards feels healthy again and was happy to be back on the field to prepare for West Bloomfield’s home opener Aug. 30 against the state’s top player, two-way lineman Justin Rogers and Oak Park.
“I feel good, my ankle bothers me a bit, but I just fight through it,” said Edwards, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior who took a trip south in late July to visit LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Clemson. “I feel I have really good vision, and I can break tackles where two or three guys need to tackle me to get me down.”
Edwards, who is ranked the No. 3 running back nationally by 247Sports Composite for the 2021 class, said he has yet to narrow his field, but likes LSU, Georgia and Ohio State, with Michigan still in the mix.
Two of Edwards’ teammates are headed to Michigan next year, safety Makari Paige and linebacker Cornell Wheeler.
West Bloomfield coach Ron Bellamy believes this can be the year his team makes a return trip to Ford Field and finish business by winning the Division 1 state championship. West Bloomfield lost in the state title game, 3-2, to OAA Red Division rival Clarkston two years ago, then finished 9-3 last season, losing to Belleville 13-10 in the regionals.
“C.J. Harris had a real good summer, and he’s a good leader,” said Bellamy of his second-year starting quarterback C.J. Harris, who is an Ohio commit. “We always talk about leadership. He has the talent, the God-given ability, and now he has to take it to another level to lead his team to the state championship. We’re going to rely on him. He’s going to have to be the face of the program.”
Said Harris: “Last year, it was a learning experience for me. As the season continued I matured, I made smart decisions and became more comfortable. Now, after working hard during the offseason, I feel way more comfortable and I feel I can help us win a state championship.
“And bringing back Donovan (Edwards) — that’s going to add a whole new level to our offense. He’s going to be explosive as always and it will expose opposing defenses.”