Much like his collegiate football debut, Gophers redshirt freshman running back Berkley Edwards had to wait a while before making his first appearance for Minnesota’s track team.
In similar fashion to his fall debut, where he ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns against Eastern Illinois, Edwards also thrived on the track as he finished third overall in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.92 seconds.
“I think that was [Berkley’s] first race in nearly a year and a half,” Gophers’ men’s head coach Steve Plasencia said. “I know he loves track as well as football so it is fun to work with him and we know he has a big upside.”
Plasencia and his staff had been holding Edwards out of the team’s first four meets before giving Edwards the green light to compete at the Iowa State Classic this weekend.
Edwards will be competing for the Gophers at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the end of the month. Everything past that point is yet to be determined, however, as spring football will be starting March 3.
“When spring football comes up, [Berkley] will be with football for a period of time,” Plasencia said. “We have yet to answer every question surrounding his availability. He has to take care of football obligations and then come run for us.”
Edward’s was the fastest Minnesota athlete in his event, although redshirt freshman sprinter Brad Nuemann has ran faster times than Edwards in the 60-meter dash earlier this year. Neumann was held out of the finals at Iowa State due to a minor injury.
After a roller coaster first year that was also plagued by injuries, Edwards is one of many running backs looking to take over the starting spot left behind by NFL-bound David Cobb.
The Michigan native ran 30 times last year for 140 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding three catches for 24 yards.
He is often included in the conversation regarding the fastest members of the Gophers football team, so his immediate success in a short race like the 60-meter dash shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
“[Berkley] is starting to get reacquainted with his racing so from that standpoint, I thought he did a good job this weekend.” Plasencia said.