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Southern Nash's Edmundson signs with Louisburg

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Southern Nash's Darius Edmundson, left, tackles Nash Central's Chris High during a game this past season. Edmundson signed on Wednesday to play football for Louisburg College.

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By PATRICK MASON
Sports Writer

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Southern Nash football coach Brian Foster got his way two years ago.

Foster had spent the first two years of Darius Edmundson’s high school career trying to convince the athlete to play football. Eventually the coach succeeded, and it didn’t take long for the player to blossom into an enviable talent.

On Wednesday, Edmundson signed with two-year Louisburg College to play football, during a ceremony at the high school. It was a decision that weighed on the senior, who had to choose between his first love of basketball and football. 

“I was playing a lot of basketball because that’s what I originally wanted to do,” Edmundson said. “A lot of people that came through (Southern Nash) were mostly football recruits and I kind of wanted to change that with basketball. That didn’t happen, but Coach Foster opened a lot of doors for me and that’s something I’m thankful for.”

Edmundson played football for Foster and the Firebirds for the last two years of his high school career, but his freshman and sophomore years were instead spent honing his skills on the basketball court.

But after some prodding from classmates and coaches, as well as a natural interest in picking up the sport again, Edmundson went out for the football team his junior year and it didn’t take long to gain attention at the college level.

“(Foster) started trying to get me to come out for the team when I was in middle school, but I was like, ‘Nah, I’m not going to play,’” Edmundson said. “But going into junior year and senior year I tried it out again and now here I am.”

Edmundson’s athleticism is his greatest attribute, and he used that do turn in a stellar senior basketball season where he led the Firebirds in points per game with 18.7, and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Firebirds advanced to the third round after a pair of upset wins, yet that recent success couldn’t sway Edmundson to play basketball in college.

In the end, football won, and Louisburg is glad it did.

On the football field Edmundson’s athletic abilities served him well, too. His profile skyrocketed this season when a clip of him making an acrobatic interception was picked up by Bleacher Report.

The national media outlet got wind of the play after it had made the rounds on twitter via Hudl and MaxPreps accounts. That play, and the ensuing social media flurry, is something that Edmundson will cherish for a long time.

“My senior year was one of my breakout years, my best years I had here,” he said. “That video that went viral on Bleacher Report, I didn't think it would go as far as it did. And I'm thankful that it did. It was fun. I didn’t know it was out there, then a couple hours later my friends see it and all of a sudden my phone is blowing up.”

Louisburg coaches told Edmundson that they would utilize his athleticism any way they can. That means that he could see snaps all across the field, even on both sides of the ball.

For now, coaches told Edmundson that he could expect to see time coming on the defensive and offensive ends. He played a number of positions in high school, and was a running back and defensive back throughout middle school.

“Playing sports in college has always been a dream of mine,” he said. “At first I thought it would be basketball, but it’s football and I’m excited. I’m willing to play anywhere they need me. I’m just hoping to help out the team.

Edmundson will study sports management, and hopes to use the next two years to open more opportunities.

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