SANDERSVILLE, GA -- Takeo Spikes's football camp at Washington County High School Friday brought in over 300 participants. There were plenty of former Golden Hawks and NFL talent to help keep the camp running smoothly. This was also an opportunity for some of those coaches to share experiences that could help the campers off the field as much as off it.
Robert Edwards, Washington County and UGA alum, was one of the best for off the field advice. Edwards set a school record at Georgia when he scored 5 touchdowns against South Carolina in his debut. The New England Patriots drafted him with the 18th overall pick in 1998.
Edwards rushed for over 1000 yards in his rookie season and was selected to the Pro-Bowl. The fun at the Pro Bowl turned into an emergency when Edwards dislocated his knee and tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL. He also ruptured an artery which nearly cost him his leg.
Edwards persevered and made it back to the NFL with the Miami Dolphins in 2002 before heading to the CFL in 2005. Now as the head coach at Riverwood High School, he uses his story to preach the value of hard work.
"It's a testament to what they teach here at Washington County." said Edwards. "To never give up on yourself, to always work hard for what you want, to believe in yourself, to believe in your own talents, and that's just what I did after I got hurt. I just believed in myself, turned it over to God, and let everything happen."
This is Edwards' first season at the helm for a Raiders team that made the 5-A playoffs last season.