Dylan Edwards
Dylan Edwards

Derby High School has produced the Kansas Football Gatorade Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Junior running back Dylan Edwards earned the honor after finishing the season as the leading rusher in Kansas, totaling 42 touchdowns, en route to an 11-1 record and 6A state championship berth.

“My success this season didn’t come alone. I’m glad I have a great team, great offensive line, and a great support system around me,” said Edwards. “I plan to keep working hard on the field but also the classroom.”

Edwards is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back with game-changing speed and agility. He was the leading rusher in Kansas with over 2,600 yards on the ground, averaging over 216 yards per game and 12.5 yards per rushing attempt. His 38 rushing touchdowns also led the state.

“Dylan Edwards is the best player I’ve seen in person at the high school level,” Hutchinson High School head coach Mike Vernon said in the Gatorade Player of the Year press release. “He’s very dangerous, and I can’t wait for him to graduate.

The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes 50 athletes nationwide who are outstanding athletically and have high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Edwards joins former Derby quarterback Lem Wash as the second Panther to win the award. Wash took the honors following his senior season in 2020 and spent this 2021 season as a quarterback for the Tennessee Tech football team.

Edwards’ work in the classroom and the Derby community has not gone unnoticed. He maintained a 3.3 GPA during the season while being a mentor to elementary school students and a youth football coach. Edwards also received the Derby Public Schools “I Make a Difference” award for his dedication to community service.

“ I think being there for the kids is just something I love doing. I don’t force myself to, and I think it just comes naturally to me. I enjoy talking to the kids, going to their games, and just seeing them smile after my games. It makes me happy,” said Edwards.

After a monstrous 2021 season, Edwards has been raking in the Division I offers from Big 12 powerhouses Kansas State and Iowa State and from Michigan State and Wisconsin in the Big 10. He’s enjoying the recruitment process and hopes to announce a top list of schools in the coming months.

Although Edwards has dreams of playing in the National Football League, he has entrepreneurial dreams and plans to major in business once he is enrolled in a university.

Watch Dylan Edwards’s videos and highlights on Hudl.

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