Matt Painter had been recruiting Vince Edwards, a 6-foot-6 forward from Franklin, OH, dating back to the fall of 2011. Finally, on Edwards’ official visit to Purdue over the weekend, he pledged a commitment to play for Painter at Purdue. Painter’s persistence paid off, especially considering that Big Ten rival Michigan recently came into the fold for Edwards.
One can only imagine how Painter felt this past May when, according to Edwards who spoke with UMHoops.com, Michigan and John Beilein were on equal footing with Purdue: “They’re both equal right now, honestly. They’re the same type of guys, the same people…It’s which school I’m most comfortable with, honestly. Both schools are a good fit for me.”
Rumors swirled in February of 2012 that Edwards, a sophomore in high school at the time, had committed to Purdue thanks to a bevy of tweets made by Edwards seemingly hinting that he was committing to Purdue — the dangers of social media and fans on message boards reading into things a bit too closely.
When he finally committed to Purdue yesterday, Edwards told Jeff Washburn of the Journal and Courier that he never had any doubts about Purdue and its program, but needed to weigh all of his options before committing: “Never in my mind have I had a doubt about Purdue. But of course, I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. I felt like it was the right decision to make, so I made it today.”
Edwards is ranked as the #80 recruit in the class of 2014, according to ESPN.com, and he joins fellow Ohioan Dakota Mathias as the Boilermakers’ second recruit for its 2014 class. Mathias’ commitment to Purdue certainly played a factor in Edwards’ decision: “Dakota played a big part at the end. We’ve played together in open gym, and just by doing that, I could tell he knows how to play the game. We connected right there on the court. I want to play with Dakota. He is a really good player.”
More than just a basketball player, Edwards has a good head on his shoulders as he clicked with the academic staff at Purdue, and seems to have already committed himself to studying kinesiology:
“The academic advisors really sold me on the fact that they really are here for the kids and to teach the kids. That was kind of different from other schools that I have been to…I kind of want to follow in the footsteps of my father, my brother and my mom, who all wanted to be coaches. If I can coach, that is what I will do, but I also want to look at being an athletic trainer.”
For now, Matt Painter will count on Edwards to be an impact player for his program; the coaching can hold off for a while.
Below is Edwards’ official mixtape: