Herm Edwards Shares His Experience Being Recruited By BYU Football

Sep 15, 2021, 12:39 AM | Updated: 1:19 am
Herm Edwards - Arizona State...
TEMPE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils walks the sidelines during the first half of the NCAAF game against the USC Trojans at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Did you know LaVell Edwards and BYU Football once recruited Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards? It’s true.

During the 1972 recruiting cycle, LaVell’s first recruiting class, Monterey High defensive back Herm Edwards was a prospect the Cougars were pursuing.

“I was recruited by BYU when LaVell Edwards was actually the coach there. Didn’t go. I was one of the first Black athletes that they recruited,” Edwards said to KSL Sports’ Sam Farnsworth.

The now Sun Devils head coach instead ended up signing with the California Golden Bears. He played three years with the Golden Bears before transferring to Monterey Peninsula in 1975, then San Diego State alongside Monterey Peninsula teammate and former Aztec coach Tom Craft in 1976.

Before becoming the head coach at BYU, LaVell Edwards was an assistant under former coach Tommy Hudspeth. Hudspeth began making Black athletes a bigger priority in BYU’s recruiting efforts. In 1970, BYU signed its first Black football player in Ron Knight. LaVell carried those recruiting philosophies over in his tenure as he pursued Herm Edwards.

Edwards faced BYU once in his playing career

During Herm Edwards’ one year with the Aztecs in 1976, he faced BYU on Montezuma Mesa. A game that saw BYU win 8-0. Edwards ended up accounting for two of BYU’s eight points.

The starting Aztec safety caught a forward lateral in the endzone that ended up resulting in a safety.

Both Herm and LaVell ended up crossing paths again in the winter of 1977. LaVell was a coach on the West squad for the 1977 Hula Bowl, Herman Edwards was one of the defensive backs.

“Ended up playing in an All-Star game where he was one of the coaches,” said Edwards. “We used to laugh about [me not going to BYU]. Boy, he was a great coach. And I know former players that have played there. Steve Young happened to be one of them. Obviously, a guy that I worked with on television and have become really good friends with. It’s been a great program for many, many years.”

After his college football playing career concluded, Edwards went on to have a 10-year NFL career with nine of those seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He then began a career in coaching, where he started at San Jose State as a defensive backs coach.

From there, Edwards jumped into the NFL, where he rose to the ranks of head coach in 2001 with the New York Jets. Edwards was an NFL head man for eight years before working on ESPN as an NFL analyst than his current gig as head coach at Arizona State.

Herm Edwards is impressed with Kalani Sitake

Edwards, now in his fourth year as head coach at Arizona State, guides the Sun Devils into Provo for a Top 25 showdown and ASU’s first visit to BYU since 1998. He sees BYU getting back to its historical ways in the college football landscape.

“They’re starting to get their accolades. Because when you look at it historically, it goes back to even when I played. You can remember BYU. …I just think Coach [Sitake] has done a great job of really continuing that tradition of who they are. So, it’s gonna be a tough football game. I already know that in my mind. When I saw that on the schedule, I said, ‘Oh, we gotta go up there and play them.’  I said, ‘Oh boy. Here we go.'”

No. 23 BYU hosts No. 19 Arizona State on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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