Bryan Edwards wants his career to be considered among the greatest in South Carolina football history. The rising junior wide receiver from Conway, S.C., is off to a roaring start.
After two seasons, Edwards is 13th in program history with 108 receptions. With 10 more catches, he’ll jump running backs Brandon Bennett, Stanley Pritchett and Cory Boyd to move inside the top 10.
“I want to make plays. I want to break records. I want to set a standard,” Edwards said. “Guys like Alshon Jeffery, Sidney Rice. I want to leave my mark up there with those guys, those legends.”
The mark set by Jeffery, who is second in program history with 183 catches, is within reasonable striking distance for Edwards in 2018. So are those of Sterling Sharpe, Zola Davis, Robert Brooks, Jermale Kelly, Fred Zeigler, Rice and Pharoh Cooper.
Assuming Edwards sticks around for his senior season, Kenny McKinley’s program record of 207 is another figure that he could top.
“I feel like I’m definitely on a good track, my freshman year to [sophomore] year, but I feel like I’ve got so much more to improve on, so much more,” Edwards said. “I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface.”
There will be plenty of starting receivers vying for touches, with Deebo Samuel, Shi Smith and OrTre Smith all set to be back for the Gamecocks in 2018. Plus, rotational players such as Chad Terrell and Chavis Dawkins also will return, along with incoming freshmen Josh Vann, Tyquan Johnson and Darius Rush.
“Any time those new guys come in, they definitely push you a little more, because they’re working hard trying to get ready for that moment,” Edwards said. “You see them working hard, and you’ve got to work even harder because you’re trying to set the standard for those guys and the next guys coming in.”
For his career, Edwards has 1,383 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns. He’s fewer than 500 yards from the top 10 in that category in program history and 6 short of the top 10 in scoring.
Jeffery owns the program record in receiving yards (3,042) and is tied with Rice for the touchdown record (23).