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February 14, 2012

Athletics is a common bond in the Edmunds family

By: Jimmy Robertson

When he hits the football field or the basketball court, Trey Edmunds is usually the best athlete in that particular sport.

When he sits down at the dinner table at night … well … that’s another story.

“We’ve had some controversy over that topic,” Edmunds said, laughing.

Edmunds stands as one of the crown jewels in the Hokies’ 2012 recruiting class, a big reason why head coach Frank Beamer’s haul was ranked among the nation’s best. He possesses the speed you want at the tailback position, the size you want at the whip linebacker position and the instincts and versatility to play both – which is why head coach Frank Beamer hinted that he may play on both sides of the ball at Tech.

But Edmunds may not be the best athlete at the dinner table each night at his family’s home in Danville, Va. After all, his father, Ferrell, played for seven seasons in the NFL following an All-ACC career at the University of Maryland, earning two Pro Bowl nods (1989 and 1990) as a member of the Miami Dolphins. He caught 148 passes for 1,894 yards and 12 touchdowns in an NFL career spent with two teams (the Dolphins and the Seattle Seahawks).

“We talk all the time,” the younger Edmunds said. “He’ll say he was faster back in the day than I am now, and I’ll say I’m faster than he was back then. I’ll say I catch the ball better now than he did back then.

“At the end of the day, we’re both good athletes.”

Of course, his mom, Felecia, shouldn’t be left out of this discussion. She ran track at Southern Illinois and may well be the fastest in the family.

“She gets in on every conversation,” Trey said. “She always says I get my speed from her.”

Without question, he got a lot of gifts athletically from his parents. After all, he rushed for 2,500 yards this season and recorded 143 tackles for Dan River High School. In basketball, he has scored more than 1,000 points in his career, and this season, has led his team to an unblemished mark so far and the No. 1 spot in the Group A rankings. At the state track and field meet last July, he won gold in the 200-meter dash and finished third in the 100.

But the best of all the things he inherited from his parents is his humility. When asked his most memorable moment as a football player, Edmunds didn’t point to a singular play or a particular game, though there certainly would not be anything wrong for any player of his ilk to do so.

Instead, he pointed to this past season, when he and his classmates changed the culture at Dan River. The Wildcats made the Group A playoffs and won two games before their season ended with a heartbreaking 43-40 loss to Wilson Memorial – a game in which Edmunds rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns, and he also had 20 tackles.

“We talked about making a change here, and this has been a special team,” Edmunds said. “We’re a family. Each one of us is our brother’s keeper. We respected each other, and along with that came the wins.”

The turnaround at Dan River may have been a family affair. It certainly was an Edmunds family affair.

Trey played for his father all four years at Dan River. Ferrell, who was his son’s junior varsity coach back in eighth grade, got the head job at Dan River before his son’s freshman year. The two of them helped the small Group A school to three consecutive winning seasons before guiding the program to the two playoff wins – a first in school history.

Playing for one’s father certainly brings forth pressure, especially when considering that the father played in the NFL. But Trey exceeded expectations – as a player and as a son.

Football is all about preparation, hard work and dedication. These are the three things that I see in Trey every day,” Ferrell Edmunds said in an article in The Danville Register & Bee after Trey was named a Parade All-American. “He’s determined to do things and do them the right way with heart and hard work.”

Only geography will separate the Edmunds family in the fall, when Trey moves to Blacksburg to persuade Hokie Nation that he’s the best athlete in the Edmunds family. But even if he wins that title, he won’t change his mind on his favorite football player of all time.

“My father,” Trey said. “I’ve seen the old film, and I’ve always liked his game.

“There’s no second guessing he was a good athlete.”