Over the next 18 days, we will feature our picks of Southern Arizona’s top preseason players, in no particular order.

Our list continues today with Sabino’s Marcus Edwards, who could be the best lineman in Southern Arizona once he’s back on the field.

Marcus Edwards

The rundown: Marcus Edwards, OL/DL, 6-3, 275, Sabino, Sr.

Who he is: A running back trapped in a lineman’s body, according to Sabino coach Jay Campos. Edwards is an explosive talent in the trenches and will help fill the void left by Andrew Mike, who is now a freshman at Florida. Unfortunately for the Sabercats, the all-state defensive tackle isn’t expected back in the lineup until late in the regular season after tearing his ACL during the spring. Edwards should begin running again in September. Upon his return, Sabino plans to slowly work the third-year varsity lineman back into the defensive rotation. Edwards recorded 52 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles a year ago. Once he finds his footing, the Sabercats hope to also use Edwards on the offensive line, where last year he saw time at center, guard and tackle. This year, he will most likely be playing tackle or center.

Proof he’s good: Edwards carries a 4.0 GPA and is still garnering offers since tearing his ACL. Yale, Cornell and Navy have all shown interest, as has Arizona and many schools from the Ivy League and Big Sky Conference. Edwards isn’t currently able to lead by example because of his injury, but Campos said the senior acts almost like another coach. Edwards, who can squat 540 pounds and bench 415, should be back in time for the playoffs, which Sabino has qualified for in 12 straight seasons under Campos. Also, since others will have to develop in his place during the season, it could make Sabino a dangerous opponent heading into the postseason as Edwards should make an immediate impact on both sides of the ball.

He said it: “He’s an all-state player. A guy like that, you can’t just replace him. He’s always been a very humble and hard-working man. He’s the kind of kid that can help us no matter what he’s doing, in terms of his leadership and what he brings to the table with his experience level, guys really respect him.” – Campos