Panthers Draft Edwards in 3rd Round of NFL Draft

Courtesy Appalachian Sports Information

QB Armanti Edwards

BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University legend Armanti Edwards will move less than 100 miles to begin his professional football career, as the Carolina Panthers selected him in the third round of the 2010 National Football League Draft (89th selection overall) on Friday night.

Carolina traded a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots for the right to draft Edwards, who was the most decorated player in NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision — formerly Division I-AA) history as Appalachian’s record-setting signal-caller from 2006-09. He ranks second in FCS history with 14,753 yards of total offense (behind only Steve McNair, who amassed 16,823 at Alcorn State from 1991-94) and is the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top FCS player.

With 10,392 passing yards and 4,361 rushing yards, Edwards is the only player in Division I history (FCS or FBS) with at least 9,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career and the only FCS player to reach the 8,000 passing/4,000 rushing plateau. He was responsible for 139 touchdowns in his career (74 passing, 65 rushing), highlighting his 64 ASU and 14 Southern Conference records.

The only four-time all-American in Appalachian history, Edwards compiled a 42-7 record as a starter and led the Mountaineers to back-to-back national championships (2006 and ‘07) and four-straight SoCon titles.

As a senior in 2009, Edwards threw for a school-record 3,291 yards and rushed for 679 more. His 330.8 yards of total offense per game ranked third nationally and he also finished among the nation’s top 20 in rushing touchdowns (t-3rd – 18), completion percentage (4th – .680), passing yards (8th), scoring (10th – 108 pts.), passing efficiency (12th – 147.90 rating), completions (13th – 257) and touchdowns responsible for (16th – 30).

He won his second-straight Payton Award in a landslide, receiving 55 of a possible 108 first-place votes and 431 total points in a vote by national media and sports information directors to easily out-distance Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, who received 16 first-place votes and 268 points, for the 2009 honor. He was also a landslide winner of the 2008 Payton Award, garnering 398 total points and 53 first-place votes, compared to 290 points and 17 first-place nods for James Madison quarterback Rodney Landers. Edwards is one of only six underclassmen to ever take home the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy.

Off the field, Edwards graduated from ASU in December with a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and imaging technology. An honors student, Edwards earned his degree in just three-and-half years, a feat accomplished by less than three percent of all ASU undergraduates.

Edwards is the 19th Mountaineer ever selected in the NFL Draft and the first since wide receiver Dexter Jackson and safety Corey Lynch were drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (second round) and Cincinnati Bengals (sixth round), respectively, in 2008. Edwards will be reunited with Jackson in the NFL, as Jackson signed with the Panthers’ organization during the 2009 season. As the No. 89 overall pick, Edwards was selected higher than all but five of ASU’s previous 18 NFL draftees. Linebacker Dino Hackett remains Appalachian’s highest-ever selection, going to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 35th overall pick (second round) in 1986.

Edwards will play as a pro at Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., just 99.5 miles from ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Panthers’ headquarters are also only 135 miles from Edwards’ hometown of Greenwood, S.C.

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