Earnest Edwards of the University of Maine, whose electric kick return abilities and his dynamic big-play receiving talents provided plenty of excitement during the last four seasons, will get his shot at the big time.
Shortly after the completion on Saturday of the three-day National Football League draft, Edwards signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
“Officially signing with the LA Rams … blessed for the opportunity and ready to get to work ASAP!!! Thank you everyone for constant support,” Edwards said on his Twitter account.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound native of Rochester, New York, was a six-time All-American for the Black Bears and capped his collegiate career by earning recognition as the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year.
Edwards will have a familiar face when he arrives at training camp as former UMaine teammate Jamil Demby also is with the Rams. The offensive lineman was a sixth-round draft choice (192nd overall) in 2018.
Speedster Edwards was a multiple-time all-conference selection as a wide receiver and kick returner. Edwards emerged as UMaine’s career leader for kick return yards (2,311), total kick returns (90) and kick return touchdowns (6).
He also finished as the Black Bears’ school record holder with 2,641 receiving yards and wound up 11th with 143 career receptions. In four seasons, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception and recorded 34 total touchdowns, including 21 as a receiver.
Edwards also led the Football Championship Subdivision in kickoff return average last season (28.5), was named a first-team All-America kick returner by HERO Sports and was a second-team All-American by The Associated Press.
The three-time All-CAA first-team kick returner and a three-time all-conference choice at wide receiver, ranked third in the FCS with 169.4 all-purpose yards per game.
For his career, Edwards amassed 5,436 all-purpose yards. 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.
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 last 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.