- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
It's not often that a recruit will readily explain one of his weaknesses, but Vincent Edwards (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) admits he's usually not the quickest player on the court.
But he's OK talking about it because he knows that he is rarely exposed for that shortcoming. Edwards, 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, has learned how to use his strengths (length, size) to cover his weaknesses, quickly making him a top Midwest prospect.
"I'm not quick, yes, but I'm very decisive," Edwards said. "I know how to beat my guy. I know myself and my game enough to play to my strengths -- that’s what will help me play my best."
The small forward has just three offers (Purdue, Dayton and Xavier), but plenty of interest from other major programs, including Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The Ohio native is an all-around talent -- strong on the boards yet still able to bring the ball up the court. He can play with his back to the basket, but kill teams from deep (shooting 43 percent from 3-point range during his sophomore season).
"I can create a lot of mismatches and be a big problem for teams," Edwards said. "Sometimes they don't know whether to put a big man on me, a guard on me, or a guy my size."
Edwards' father, Bill, who also coaches him in AAU, said college coaches have been seeing that versatility out of Vincent.
"They don’t number him or classify him as just one position," Bill said. "Most coaches just see him as a guy you need to have on the court."
Outside of Purdue coach Matt Painter, who Bill said is there "every time I look up" and has already offered Vincent, Bill said Michigan coach John Beilein is pursuing his son the hardest, with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo not far behind.
Edwards has a trip to West Virginia planned for the fall, but is hoping to get up to see both the Wolverines' and the Spartans' campuses this fall before his high school basketball season starts.
"Coach Beilein keeps saying how he'd love to have me up on campus," Edwards said. "They want to get to know me, meet my mom and dad, see where I come from."
Edwards is hoping that in return he gets to see what Ann Arbor is like, because at the end of the day he’s hoping to find a college that gives him a "homey feeling."
"I want to go to a place where I can call it home," Edwards said. "I'm looking for a great community, atmosphere and coaching staff. I want great academics."
1dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
2dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
3dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman