Some players have a chip on their shoulder that fuels them to excel on the football field, but for the University of Michigan running back Donovan Edwards it's an angel on his shoulder, guiding not only through the twists and turns of life but through holes in an opponent's defensive line. As the Michigan Wolverines rusher steps into the shoes of Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards' mom, Donna, who passed away after a battle with cancer when her son was two years old, is guiding her son to the end zone.
Angels in the Backfield: Donovan Edwards' Mother, Donna
Before he was scoring touchdowns in Ann Arbor for Michigan football, Edwards was growing up in a single-parent home in West Bloomfield, Mich., a half hour outside of Detroit. Kevin Edwards Sr., did his best to raise his two sons after the passing of his wife and keep her memory alive. Donna passed so early in Edwards' life that he doesn't have a lot of memories of his mother and relies on his father's stories.
"My momma meant the world to me," Edwards said to Bally Sports while he was at West Bloomfield High School. "It's different having a dad who you know loves you and is doing the best to provide for you and your brother, but at the same time, you wish you had your mom with you."
Edwards had offers from Notre Dame and Oklahoma, but decided to stay in Michigan and help bring the Wolverines back to their former glory. Perhaps the NFL will come calling eventually, but Edwards is focused on the line to gain in front of him.
Ever since Heisman snub Corum went down with a season-ending injury against Illinois, Edwards stepped up in a big way for head coach Jim Harbaugh in the second half of the season, becoming a walking ESPN highlight. After torching the Ohio State Buckeyes, Edwards continued his hot streak into the Big Ten championship game against Purdue. Now, Edwards and J.J. McCarthy are primed and ready to explode in the college football playoff semifinals against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, on their way to either a rematch with Ohio State or a meeting with the Georgia Bulldogs.
While it took talent and poise to beat Penn State and Michigan State, it will take a little more to finally win a national championship. Luckily for Edwards, he's got Donna helping him find open space on every snap.
MORE: How Michigan's Big Win Over Ohio State Fueled a Repeat Playoff Berth
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