DEL CITY — Shaun Edwards knew this season was his final chance to prove something.
The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Destiny Christian senior hadn't always worked his hardest on the football field, but he changed that before this season.
“Some of the college coaches told me the biggest thing they look for in a lineman is their footwork and their hands,” Edwards said. “I knew I'd be pulling a lot this year on our pulling plays, so I knew I was going to have to get quicker and work on my footwork to get faster and get my steps down in my pulls.”
Destiny Christian plays the OKC Patriots on Friday in the OCSAA Class 3A state championship at Putnam City West.
Edwards has improved so much that he is starting to receive interest from some of those college coaches, namely ones from Houston and Kansas.
“He's really buckled down and I'm proud of him because last year we had a lot of issues with him knowing when to work and when not to, and he was kind of lazy,” Destiny Christian coach Joe Biddle said. “He's finally realized that this is his year to sign a scholarship with someone, and he's really stepped up and taken on that role.”
Edwards came to Destiny Christian in the seventh grade after attending St. John's Episcopal School.
At one point, as he started to really grow, he wanted to attend a public school, but his grandmother, Shirley, whom he lives with, said no.
“The private schools he's been in, they've all taken a good interest in him,” Shirley Edwards said. “It's just been wonderful.”
Shaun Edwards has been living with Shirley since he was 11 months old. His parents divorced and could not decide who would receive custody, so Shirley and her husband Robert adopted him, with his parents being able to see him anytime.
Robert Edwards died in 2007, and Shaun was the person who found him after his heart gave out.
“She's the only thing I've got left,” Edwards said about his grandmother. “I still visit my parents every once and awhile, but my grandma's always been there for me.
“She's pretty much my mother because she takes care of me and everything I need.”
Now, though, Edwards is nearing the chance to attend a school of his choice, as Shirley Edwards told him long ago he could choose which college attends.
He just still has to earn his chance Friday on the football field.
“I know we're going to win,” Edwards said. “That's how confident I am.”