Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2012 class and is unveiling them this week. Twelve prospects have been awarded five-stars but are not ranked at this time and we will profile three each day. The five-star spotlight is now on Denton (Texas) Ryan defensive end Mario Edwards.
Analyst's take: "Edwards is a huge defensive lineman but he moves like a much smaller player. He is definitely a defensive end at this point despite his size. With that size comes the ability to fight through blocks and be a big run stuffer but it does not stop him from being an elite pass-rusher too. He has a very quick first step off the ball and is able to make his way into the opposing backfield with ease. He is simply dominant at the point of attack." - Brian Perroni, Rivals.com
Why he's a five-star: "Mario Edwards has the rare body type that will allow him to play either defensive end position at the next level. He is quick off the ball and strong enough to take on a tackle and tight end in the running game. He could end up having the impact similar to Da'Quan Bowers for Clemson." - Barry Every, Rivals.com
Here's a look at the five-star prospects announced so far:
His coach says: "Him as a person, I think of him as a son. Football is about hard work and he does exactly that. He wants to be the best at everything he does. He has things you look for in great defensive linemen - he's got size, he has speed and then he has the one thing you always look for and that's those things you just can't teach. He's just a natural at it. He understands things like body leverage. The more and more fine-tuning he gets, the more special he is going to be and he's already a great football player." - Denton Ryan defensive line coach Aaron De La Torre
Odds and ends: Edwards is following in his father's footsteps with his recent commitment to Florida State as he is the son of former Seminole and Dallas Cowboy defensive back Mario Edwards Sr. The younger Edwards was named the Class 4A Texas Defensive Player of the Year this past season by both the Associated Press and the Texas Sportswriters Association after racking up 127 tackles, including an astounding 50 for loss, 18 sacks and four fumble recoveries, including two he returned for touchdowns. He helped lead Ryan to a 15-1 record with the only loss coming in the state championship game.