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Last Update: 08/12/04
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EDWARDS - Another great career is just beginning
TRENT EDWARDS didn't want to think about it. And no one wanted to talk about it. But when he found himself in a hospital's ICU ward with 60 stitches in his leg, he had to wonder - would he ever play football again?
His future had looked so bright. He was all-everything at Los Gatos High School, and by the time he played for the North squad in the 2002 Silicon Valley Youth Classic Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game, he was already penciled in as the quarterback of the future at Stanford University.
After red-shirting in his first season on The Farm, Edwards wasted little time making his presence known as a freshman at Stanford. He played his way into a starting role then earned it back after suffering a jammed AC joint in his shoulder and a mild concussion against Washington State. But it was a more serious injury suffered later in the year that caused the most concern. Edwards experienced compartment syndrome, a muscle injury that is not only limb-threatening but can be life-threatening. Edwards had to undergo three surgeries in 10 days. He spent five days in ICU and 10 days in the hospital. Family and friends were worried about more than just his promising football career. Edwards, however, never really considered anything but returning for his sophomore season. "It's definitely in the back of your mind," said Edwards about the prospect of not playing again. "But you don't really talk bout it. And my doctors were all upbeat. I had great support and great doctors working on me." It would be another couple of weeks after his release from the hospital that the stitches were removed, and he would spend the next three weeks on crutches. But he was in rehab after two and a half weeks, and now he's back in the Stanford starting line-up. According to his Stanford profile, Edwards is the squad's No. 1 quarterback after spring ball and "he has all the skills necessary to become an outstanding quarterback for the Cardinal over the next three seasons."
Edwards played in eight games for Stanford as a red-shirt freshman last fall, starting four. He completed 77 of 170 passes for 750 yards and four touchdowns. In his debut against San Jose State University, Edwards hooked up on 21 of 37 tosses for 278 yards and a couple of TDs to lead the Cardinal to victory and earn the starting job. A week later, he scored the winning touchdown against Brigham Young University. For his efforts, he was selected by The Sporting News to the All-Pac 10 freshman team.
Edwards chose Stanford after a storied career for Butch Cattolico at Los Gatos High School. "He came to Stanford as one of the nation's most highly sought-after prep quarterbacks," says his Stanford profile. And for good reason. He was a High School All-American and completed an impressive 75 percent of his passes (279 of 373 for 5,064 yards and 58 touchdowns) in leading the Wildcats to a 26-0 record and back-to-back Central Coast Section titles as a junior and senior.
He capped his outstanding high school career with an appearance in the Silicon Valley Youth Classic. It was especially satisfying for him since the game is named for Los Gatos football coach Charlie Wedemeyer. "He was the guy who pretty much started my high school football career," he said of Wedemeyer, who coached Edwards as a freshman despite confinement to a golf cart because of the effects of ALS. "He's a big inspiration to a lot of people, and it was great to be on the field with him on the sidelines."
Edwards had a big night in the All Star Game, completed 12 of 18 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. Still, not lost on the former Gatos great is the fact that the North lost the game 19-15. "Yeah, some guys won't let me forget that," he laughed. "But I had a great time. Some close buddies from my high school team were on the team, too, and I met a lot of cool guys. It was a great opportunity and a great way to end my high school career."
And a great career it was. Now another seems to be just beginning.
Dick Sparrer is the editor of the Los Gatos Weekly-Times and Saratoga News. He is also the sports editor for those two publications and the rest of the papers in the Silicon Valley Community Newspaper group - the Almaden Resident, Willow Glen Resident, Rose Garden Resident, Campbell Reporter, Sunnyvale Sun and Cupertino Courier.