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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Alonzo Edwards Jr.: JUCO walk-on to Bobcat starter

Photo Courtesy of Texas State Athletics
Texas State junior cornerback Alonzo Edwards Jr. (4) during the Nevada game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State junior cornerback Alonzo Edwards Jr. took an unconventional route to the Division I level and has earned his stay at Texas State.

Edwards didn’t have college coaches fighting for his commitment after high school. Searching for the best opportunity to continue his football career, Edwards decided to try his luck as a walk-on at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi.

“Mississippi itself is already small,” Edwards Jr. said. “I feel like we get underrecruited. [I] didn’t have any opportunities, so I had to walk on to the JUCO [level] and earn a scholarship. Then, I just blew up in JUCO. [I] got a lot of offers.”

The hard work required of a walk-on player paid off for Edwards. Relationships he built on his path to Texas State helped him both on and off the field. Former Mississippi Gulf Coast teammate Scooby Carter brought Edwards to the attention of the Texas State coaching staff.

“He [Carter] had gotten an offer from Texas State,” Edwards said. “And Coach Dewhurst was the cornerback coach here. [Carter] told him about me. They watched my film; they came down to Mississippi. They just gave me the offer after that.”

In his first season at Texas State in the 2022-23 season, Edwards played in all 12 games and started in six. That season, he accumulated 23 tackles and three forced fumbles, adding a lot of film for the new coaching staff to be excited about. In December 2022, Matthew Gregg took over as the cornerback coach and knew that Edwards would be an impactful player.

“He played well close to the end of the season last year,” Gregg said. “I knew we could build on that and continue to develop him into a potential All-Conference player. He was one of the guys I noticed early on in film. He had play-making abilities; he was making tackles and forcing fumbles.”

Texas State redshirt senior cornerback Chris Mills also signed at Texas State prior to the 2022-23 season. Spending the past two years with Edwards, he said he knows how valuable a teammate he is.

“With the change in staff you always have a number of players you encounter,” Mills said. “But [Alonzo] is just automatically one of those [players] that stood out. Just from the stance of being dependable, smart, and [an] overall ballplayer. He always asks if you need help— just one of those teammates that’s always caring.”

The 2023-24 season has seen a renewed sense of excitement around Texas State’s football program. According to Gregg, Edwards, one of the few returners from last season’s team, is seen as a leader by the coaches.

“I will say he’s not shy at all to have energy and get his teammates motivated,” Gregg said. “But I would say he’s more of a ‘do it by example.’ He’s going to play hard, he’s going to do the extra work, he’s never going to complain, and he has a great attitude every day. Guys look up to him.”

The 2023-24 Texas State team has earned bowl eligibility for just the second time in its history. Edwards said he knew as soon as he met Head Coach G.J. Kinne that this was in the program’s future.

“I’m a big believer in ‘You have what you say,” Edwards said. “The first thing coach Kinne said when he got here was, ‘We’re going to win a championship.’ I’m a big believer in that, so I already knew we were going to become a winning program.”

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