Five reasons why Dylan Edwards should be a huge transfer addition for Kansas State

It’s rare for Kansas State football players to log on to social media and make a big deal about an incoming recruit or transfer, but they will share their excitement when a truly special prospect commits to the Wildcats.

Such was the case this weekend when Dylan Edwards announced his plans to transfer to K-State after spending his freshman season at Colorado.

Wide receiver Jayce Brown wrote the words “uh oh” on X (the former Twitter). Sterling Lockett followed with a statement that read: “Been a long time coming.” Running backs coach Brian Anderson suggested that fans should “get your popcorn ready.”

And then there was starting quarterback Avery Johnson, who simply shared an old picture of him and Edwards playing football together for the Wichita Bears, the team they each grew up playing on during their younger days. Johnson’s father was their coach. They almost never lost.

Edwards, a 5-foot-9 running back from Derby, took an unconventional route to K-State. He briefly committed to the Wildcats two years ago, flipped to Notre Dame and then ended up playing for Deion Sanders at Colorado. But he is bound for Manhattan now, and his future teammates are thrilled about his arrival.

It’s easy to see why.

After all, Edwards rushed for 321 yards and a touchdown last season with the Buffaloes, adding 36 catches for 299 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver. Before that, he put up prolific numbers at Derby High.

Still, here are five reasons why Edwards could make a big impact for the Wildcats next season and beyond.

1. Avery Johnson and Edwards are practically brothers

I once asked Johnson how long he had been friends with Edwards. His reply: “since the sandbox.”

That is a long time for a pair of college sophomores. They might as well be brothers. They grew up playing alongside each other for the Wichita Bears. Then they played against each other in high school with Edwards starring as a running back at Derby and Johnson shining as a quarterback at Maize.

They said they wanted to play together in college when they were high school recruits. Now they will get to live out that dream.

It is exciting to think about what they could do together in the same offense. Not only are Edwards and Johnson both talented playmakers, but they have a strong connection. They should be able to communicate without speaking on the football field.

2. DJ Giddens and Edwards should form a dynamic backfield

K-State already had one of the Big 12’s best running backs with DJ Giddens set to return as a junior next season.

Teaming him up with Edwards could give the Wildcats the best backfield in the entire Big 12.

Giddens did it all last season, piling up 1,226 yards on the ground and 323 yards through the air. He also found the end zone 13 times. Assuming he could stay healthy, he didn’t really need a running mate. But there is always strength in numbers, especially at running back.

Edwards can be a perfect complementary back next to Giddens. The Colorado transfer is a home-run hitter with speed who is excellent at making defenders miss in the open field and catching the ball in the flats. Giddens is more of a power runner who makes things happen between the tackles. He can do that other stuff, too. But he’s the guy you give the ball to when you need tough yards.

There are also ways K-State could use both players at the same time.

The Wildcats will hope that Giddens and Edwards can do what Giddens and Deuce Vaughn accomplished together two years ago. That season, Vaughn amassed nearly 2,000 yards of total offense while scoring 12 touchdowns. But Giddens was also able to top 600 yards and find the end zone six times.

K-State won a Big 12 championship that season, by the way.

3. Chris Klieman loves to play multiple running backs

In certain games, K-State coach Chris Klieman has leaned heavily on just one running back to move the chains. Such was the case last season when Giddens touched the ball a whopping 38 times against UCF.

But his preference has always been to split carries between multiple running backs, sometimes as many as four or five.

Two feels like an ideal number for next season. Three would be even better if another ball-carrier can emerge. Going back and forth between Giddens and Edwards should keep defenses off balance and allow both K-State running backs to stay healthy.

4. Another Kansas connection

What do Johnson (Maize), Giddens (Junction City) and Edwards (Derby) all have in common?

They all call the Sunflower State home.

Klieman has done an excellent job recruiting Kansas in recent years. Defensive back Keenan Garber (Lawrence), linebacker Desmond Purnell (Topeka) and defensive back Jacob Parrish (Olathe) are also key starters for the Wildcats.

Adding another high-profile “local” recruit to an important position like running back could give the Wildcats more of a recruiting edge moving forward.

5. No play should ever be dead with Edwards on the field

It might be hard for defenses to completely blow up many K-State plays next season.

Johnson is one of the fastest quarterbacks in the entire country. So he should be able to extend most plays with his feet, even if things are breaking down in front of him. But he won’t have to scramble all the time with outlet valves like Edwards, Giddens and tight end Garrett Oakley also on the field.

K-State’s quarterback should have plenty of options on passing plays, even when his primary targets are taken away. Of course, he should also have quality receivers to look at with Jayce Brown and Keagan Johnson. Adding Edwards to the mix gives him another option, which should make the K-State offense even more dynamic.