Former University of Maine wide receiver/kick returner Earnest Edwards isn’t done with football yet.

Soon after the NFL draft ended Saturday, Edwards signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams. He announced his new team on Twitter.

“It’s a blessing,” said Edwards, from his home in Rochester, New York. “Everything works out for reason. Two minutes after the draft ended, they called me and we finalized it.”

Clay Cordasco, a former Sacopee Valley High player who spent the last two seasons at Oregon State, will get a chance to make the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. Scobel Wiggins photo

Edwards wasn’t the only player with Maine connections to sign after the draft. Clay Cordasco, a former Sacopee Valley High player who played on the offensive line at Oregon State the last two years, signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Edwards, 5-foot-10, 188 pounds, said he was initially disappointed he didn’t get drafted but that it doesn’t matter now.

“It definitely hurts, watching hours of the draft and not seeing your name go up,” he said. “Of the 255 names that were drafted, I feel my name should be one. But it’s a business and I’m not mad. I got my opportunity. That’s all I wanted. Now it’s time to roll with it.”

Edwards will be joining former Black Bears teammate Jamil Demby, who will be entering his third NFL season as an offensive lineman with the Rams. And Liam Coen, the former offensive coordinator for UMaine, is the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Rams.

“It is awesome,” said Demby, from his home in Thousand Oaks, California. “It continues the Black Bear pipeline to the NFL. And to see a fellow teammate joining me is awesome. Earnest deserves big credit for being the explosive player he is.”

Edwards is a dual threat as a wide receiver and kick returner. In his senior season, he caught 11 touchdown passes and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Edwards also threw four touchdown passes. He led the Football Championship Subdivision in kickoff return yardage (28.5 yards per return) and was third in all-purpose yards (169.4 per game).

Maine Coach Nick Charlton said the Rams are a good fit for Edwards’ skills.

“Our offenses are very similar, what they try to do, even in the terminology,” said Charlton. “I think it will be a good transition for him to go to that organization.

“Everyone knows about his gifted talents and what he has. But Earn’s competitiveness and overall intelligence are things people don’t know about. He’s a very smart football player that works relentlessly at it. I just don’t see him failing. He does a lot of things. And with that team, with their needs, he fits.”

Edwards finished as Maine’s all-time record holder in kick return yards (2,311), kick return touchdowns (four) and total kick returns (90). He also holds the school record with 2,641 career receiving yards on 143 catches. He scored 29 touchdowns – 23 on catches, four on kickoff returns and two rushing. He also threw five touchdown passes in his career.

Edwards thinks his versatility will be a plus in the NFL. “I feel I have a good chance to make the team on special teams and receiver,” he said. “For sure I can do a lot. And I can do whatever they want.”

He added that the Rams will be sending him a playbook and a workout plan. “Everything is virtual right now,” he said. “But as soon as this coronavirus is over with, I’m heading to LA to get to work. I can’t wait.”

CORDASCO played three years at Sacopee Valley, then finished his high school career at Kennett High in Conway, New Hampshire. He was not recruited and spent a year working in Maine before going to California, where he played two years of junior college football. He earned a scholarship to Oregon State and played in 21 games over two seasons, starting all 12 games at guard as a senior. He has played both guard and tackle and has practiced at center.

Cordasco, who is 6-4 1/2, 306 pounds, was not available for comment. But his agent, Evan Brennan, said several teams were interested in him, especially after he had an impressive Pro Day performance.

“He’s excited go to a team that actually wanted him,” said Brennan. “The Bengals offensive line coach (Jim Turner) called me the other night and talked for 45 minutes about how much they wanted him. They have a plan for him. It’s nice to go to a place that wants you.”

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.