Gridiron Top 300: RB KJ Edwards, Carthage High School (Carthage, Texas)

KJ Edwards is an extremely talented 4 star running back from the class of 2026. The 5’10, 173 lb athletic specimen plays much bigger than his size. KJ split reps at running back, and still put up career numbers. He touched the rock 169 times, and turned that into an eye opening 1,706 yards and 24 touchdowns. He is a very responsible young man, boasting an impressive 3.9 out of 4 GPA. KJ is a very developed and balanced running back. He shows tremendous breakaway speed, most notably on a 75 yard touchdown run against Pleasant Grove High School this season. His performance that game won him East Texas Credit Union Player Of The Week. KJ totaled 269 yards that game, a career high for him. KJ also displays amazing hands. He is regarded as a “satellite” on his team, able to catch any ball coming his way. Someone I would compare him to is New Orleans Saints running back, Alvin Kamara. Both are very speedy backs, with innate abilities to catch the ball. He also has tremendous balance and toughness. Don’t expect him to go down with one tackler, as that will be a wasted attempt. If you watch his film, you see KJ run through, and over, multiple tacklers before he hits the turf. KJ led the Bulldogs to the State Title in 2022, but they fell short last season. KJ cites that as his biggest motivation to improve. He was most recently ranked as the 34th best player in East Texas, and if you know anything about Texas, the competition is some of the toughest in the nation. I am not the only person who recognizes KJ’s talents, as he as already garnered multiple power 5 offers. These include Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Baylor, Nebraska and many more. KJ Edwards is one of the most talented running backs I have covered so far, and is a name to watch out for in the Heisman race a few years from now.

What made you fall in love with the game of football?

That’s a good one. Really my Dad. He’s always been there for me. We would wake up every morning and workout. I’m also trying to create a legacy and positive influence for my younger brother.

What are some goals for yourself, and your team next season?

For myself, I want to get that #1 spot as a running back you know. That’s a big deal for me. For my team, we need to win State. This past year we didn’t quite get the job done, but we are looking forward to finishing that this season.

You guys had a tough loss against Gilmer in the quarterfinals last season. What have you, and the team, learned from that loss to bring into next season?

We learned that any team can get beat. You can’t go into the game too big headed just because of all the attention that you have, you still have to play the game. I think we came in the game thinking that we were just going to demolish them, but they actually came to fight. We know now that we can be beat so we just put in that work everyday.

I know you have been recruited by some high level programs. What is that process like, and do any colleges stand out to you for how they recruit and how persistent they are? 

Definitely Texas you know. I think it’s Justin Wells, I stay in touch with him frequently and just get that relationship built. I went to Arkansas this past weekend, and their coaching staff is just awesome. When I arrived there, all of them congratulated me and kept saying how glad they were that I was there.

What is the most challenging part of playing running back?

I would say the blocking set. You have to be able to run and catch the ball, but you also have to know how to block. Without blocking, you’re just sitting there for nothing.

Who do you try and emulate on the field?

I know Alvin Kamara and Reggie Bush. The running backs coach at Arkansas also said I was like De’Von Achane.

Do you have a favorite personal highlight of yourself?

I think it was my PG game of the week. It was the number 1 & 2 teams playing each other so you know it was going to be fireworks. I had a 75 yard run where the defense over-collapsed the middle, and I ended up bouncing it out for a touchdown.

What is a challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it?

Probably that playoff loss against Gilmer. We had never lost a game so taking that loss was a hard thing to do. That doesn’t matter though because it’s time to rebuild and be a bigger person.

If there was only one song you could listen to pregame, what would it be?

Definitely All My Life by Lil Durk.

What is your way too early Super Bowl winner prediction for next season?

I would say the Chiefs, and I’m hoping for the Baltimore Ravens to get in there.