Earnest Edwards of the University of Maine, who leads the Football Championship Subdivision in kickoff return average, has been named a first-team All-American kick returner by HERO Sports.
HERO Sports is a technology company that creates previews, recaps, rankings, predictions, match-up analysis, fantasy and betting insights for numerous levels of sports.
Edwards on Tuesday also was selected as a second-team All-America kick returner by The Associated Press.
The senior wide receiver and kickoff returner averaged 28.5 yards per return this season on his way to setting Black Bears career records.
Edwards, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound native of Rochester, New York, previously was named the Colonial Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year and was an All-CAA first-team selection as a wide receiver and kick returner.
He was also named to the New England Football Writers All-New England Team as a kick returner.
Edwards, a three-time All-CAA first-team kick returner and a three-time all-conference choice at wide receiver, also ranks third in the FCS with 169.4 all-purpose yards per game.
He finished his UMaine career as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,641), kick-return yards (2,311), kick-return touchdowns (6) and total returns (90). His 143 career receptions are good for 11th best.
This season, Edwards returned 20 kickoffs for 570 yards and two touchdowns, caught 49 passes for 1,097 yards and 11 scores, returned two punts for 50 yards, carried the ball 12 times for 146 yards and completed five of six passes for 61 yards and four TDs.
His 22.4 yards per reception are among the best in the country and he ranks 11th in receiving yards per game (99.7) and is tied for 11th with 11 TD receptions.
Edwards enjoyed five 100-yard receiving games this season including a season-high 153 at Elon for the 6-6 Black Bears.
For his career, he amassed 5,436 all-purpose yards. Edwards also completed 6 of 8 passes for 74 yards and five touchdowns.
He closed out his UMaine career by scoring a touchdown in 18 of his last 19 games and wound up registering 37 TDs in 45 career contests. Among those were 28 scoring catches and three rushing touchdowns.
Edwards twice scored two kickoff return touchdowns in a game. He posted returns of 100 and 95 yards in a 35-21 win at Colgate this season and ripped off 95- and 93-yarders in a 27-26 victory over Elon in 2018 to help the Black Bears clinch the CAA title and reach the FCS semifinals for the first time in program history.