KJ Edwards is still a freshman at Carthage High School, but that hasn’t stopped him from making a name for himself in the college football recruiting space.

The 2026 running back prospect jumped on the Texas high school football scene when he rushed for 485 yards and seven touchdowns, earned 61 receiving yards, and was named to the 8-4A Division II all-district second-team during Carthage’s 2022 state championship season.

Edwards enjoyed a fast start to the most recent University Interscholastic League postseason because he ran the ball four times for 85 yards and a 30-yard score in Carthage’s 42-7 bi-district win against Pittsburg at Lindale’s Eagle Stadium on Nov. 10, and earned a five-yard rushing touchdown in his team’s 61-30 area round playoff victory against Van Alstyne at Texarkana’s Tiger Stadium on Nov. 18.

Those performances set up a breakout performance of 12 carries for 116 yards and both a 30-yard and six-yard touchdown in his program’s 45-14 Region II championship win against Pleasant Grove at Marshall’s Maverick Stadium on Dec. 2. He later wrapped up his first high school season with 32 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards in a 42-0 state championship season finale win against Wimberley at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on Dec. 16.

“I like to credit my hard work,” Edwards said of what he credits his early high school football success and recruiting attention to. “The Pleasant Grove game that I had, I credit the blocking, Scott Surratt with the great coaching, the guys up front, and me finding the holes.”

Edwards received his latest college football offers from Nebraska and Sam Houston State on March 11, and both are intriguing to him.

“It was a good experience,” Edwards said of his strong recruiting day last Saturday. “[The offers] really haven’t sunk in yet. I know both of them are running schools, which I like.”

The backfield threat is also in the position to compare those opportunities with the three other offers he received from SMU (Jan. 25), Texas Tech (Dec. 16) and UTSA (Dec. 21).

“I actually had offers a couple weeks ago,” Edwards said of his other opportunities. “In a couple months, I will be going to some of the camps [at SMU and Sam Houston].”

Edwards still has three years to choose his future college home, so he is making the most of the recruiting process right now, and is actively looking for the right fit.

“A community that actually shows interest in me,” Edwards said of what he’s looking for in a college. “They obviously run the ball, and got the coaches that want to see me do better and elevate in my game.”

Whoever ends up landing the most recent football recruit from Carthage will add someone who also chases success outside of sports.

“My own GPA, making sure that it still remains high,” Edwards said of his current focus. “So when coaches reach out, the school can tell them about my GPA.”

DAEDRION “BUDDHA” GARRETT2024 Longview safety prospect Daedrion “Buddha” Garrett had a big week because he received his seventh offer from Tulsa on Wednesday, and visited his first Power Five opportunity Boston College on Thursday.

The five other schools that are currently in the running are Arkansas State, North Texas, Sam Houston State, Texas State and Weber State.

JACORIEAN ROLLINSTatum defensive tackle recruit Jacoriean Rollins announced on March 10 that he would join a 2023 Oklahoma Panhandle State University football signing class that also includes a March commit in Marshall’s LaTravion Adams.

Rollins chose OPSU instead of the opportunities at College of the Desert, North American University and Texas College.

CASEY POE2024 Lindale offensive lineman prospect Casey Poe was offered by a pair of two-time College Football Playoff national champions in Clemson (March 11) and Georgia (March 12) over the past week.

Poe can also currently play at Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Auburn, Austin Peay, Baylor, BYU, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Houston, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and UTSA.

KEDREN YOUNG2024 Lufkin prospect Kedren Young continues to receive college football offers from schools of all sizes because he received opportunities from Power Five programs Nebraska (March 10) and Central Florida (March 15), and another from the Group of Five’s Louisiana-Lafayette (March 10) over the past week. He also recently visited Missouri, which sent him one of his 25 offers on Feb. 1.

TERRY BUSSEY2024 Timpson recruit Terry Bussey received an offer from recent Capital One Orange Bowl champion Tennessee on March 10. The folks of Rocky Top are the 28th group to join the chase for his services.

TRAVIS JACKSON2024 Tyler Legacy defensive end recruit Travis Jackson can now choose between a dozen college football opportunities after Oregon State offered him on Wednesday.

The other 11 include Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas State, Texas Tech, and UNLV.

DYLLAN DRUMMOND2024 Chapel Hill right tackle recruit Dyllan Drummond received his seventh college football opportunity from Army on March 10. He also had a recent visit to Arkansas State University, which offered him first on Nov. 4.

His five other offers from Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas, Sam Houston State, UNLV and Weber State arrived between Jan. 25 and March 7.

TRADARIAN BALL2026 Texas High prospect powered up on Tuesday because he received Power 5 offers from California and Texas Tech.

Along with those opportunities in Berkeley and Lubbock, he can also currently consider future career stops at Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma, Oregon, TCU, and UTSA.

JAVARI JOHNSON2025 Texas High School running back recruit Javari Johnson picked up his fourth offer from Boston College on March 9. He also heard from Indiana, Louisiana Tech and UTSA between Oct. 3 and Jan 25.

QUAN’TAE GAGE2023 Palestine prospect Quan’Tae Gage received his latest college football opportunity from LaGrange College on March 14. His other offers have been from Capital University, McPherson College, Oklahoma Panhandle State, Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Sul Ross State University, Texas College and Waynesburg University.

JAMARION JOHNSON2023 Tyler Grace Community School recruit Jamarion Johnson received a college football offer from Avila University on March 14.

JAYDEN STEWART2023 Pleasant Grove running back prospect Jayden Stewart received his third offer from Missouri Valley College on March 14. His first opportunity arrived from Hendrix College on Nov. 16 and his second came from Howard Payne on Dec. 6.

Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen