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updated: 8/12/2013 9:05 PM

Lakes' Edwards has Western Michigan's backing

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  • T.J. Edwards will again play quarterback at Lakes this season, but his collegiate future is at linebacker for Western Michigan.

      T.J. Edwards will again play quarterback at Lakes this season, but his collegiate future is at linebacker for Western Michigan.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


After he threw for nearly 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns for Lakes last season, T.J. Edwards' ability to throw the football is clear.

Western Michigan University likes his ability to run to the football, as well, apparently.

With the first official day of high school football practice set for Wednesday, Edwards will look to direct the Eagles to another successful season as a second-year starting quarterback. Once the senior graduates, he will head to Western Michigan, which plans to switch the 6-foot-1, 215-pound athlete to linebacker.

"It's kind of a unique situation," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said. "I don't think there are a lot of kids who play high school quarterback who are being recruited as a linebacker at the Division I level.

"(Western Michigan) sees a 'football player' on film and really believes he'll be a linebacker. I have no doubt that he can do that, too."

Edwards did not play linebacker at all last season and will not this season. Mertens said he will employ Edwards as a defensive back at times this season but stresses that Edwards "is our quarterback." Edwards played enough in the defensive secondary last season to notch 25 tackles.

He earned the Eagles' starting QB job in camp last season and wound up having an all-area campaign. He completed 96 of 140 passes for 1,789 yards. An outstanding athlete who excelled on the basketball court last winter, as well, he also rushed for 474 yards and 11 TDs.

Lakes won the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division last year, going 6-0 and finishing with an 8-1 overall record during the regular season.

Ex-Eagles Goggin, Recker flying high: While all-state running back Direll Clark had 10 Division I offers, according to coach Luke Mertens, before choosing to play for Division II Winona State, two other former Eagles accepted D-I offers following last season.

Defensive end A.J. Goggin earned an appointment to the Air Force Academy, where he will play linebacker, while safety Drew Recker accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Notre Dame.

Goggin had 8.5 sacks last season. Recker led Lakes with 92 tackles, including 51 solos, and had 2 interceptions. Both players collected all-conferemce honors.

"Basically (Notre Dame) took five preferred walk-ons, and he was one of the five," Mertens said of Recker. "He made it pretty far in the recruiting process. He's doing great. I just talked to him (Sunday). He's excited. He really likes it. He understands it's going to be a long road, as it will be for all these freshmen, but he hopes one day his time will come and he'll be on the field for the Fighting Irish."

Recker excelled not only on the football field, but also in the classroom for Lakes.

"He's going to be pre-med there," Mertens said. "He was a great student for us. Academically, he got so much scholarship money from Notre Dame that it's almost like he's going on a ride anyway. He's in a real good place, both athletically and academically."

• Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeAguilar64

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