Former Lakes Eagles Football Player TJ Edwards is Now Starting for an NFL Team

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Travis Cellucci

I’m sure many of you have heard of TJ Edwards, a former Lakes football player who then went on to play more football at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but where is he now? After playing four years at Madison, Edwards went undrafted in 2019, but was then signed by the Philadelphia Eagles shortly after the draft in May. After a long offseason for Edwards, he made the Eagles final 53 man roster in 2019, playing all sixteen games and making four starts. Due to many injuries the Eagles had in 2019, Edwards started most of his games late in the season and emerged as the Eagles second string middle linebacker. In the offseason of the 2020-2021 season, the Eagles lost a lot of depth at the linebacker position which gave TJ Edwards the starting job. Now already halfway through this season, Edwards has been playing great and has been a tremendous help to this Eagles’s defense.

After a great career at Lakes, Edwards joined Madison in 2014 as a redshirt freshman, which means he can practice with the team but is not allowed to play in an actual game. This meant Edwards did not get to see the field that year. For the next four seasons from 2015-2018 Edwards was one of Wisconsin’s best linebackers. He was very healthy and only missed a few games over his career at Wisconsin while recording a total of 367 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 10 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. Even though he was a great player Edwards was not invited to the 2019 NFL Draft Combine which ultimately led to him being an undrafted free agent.

The Philadelphia Eagles showed great interest in Edwards after the draft and brought him up to the roster in May to practice with them in the offseason. The Eagles liked what they saw, and brought Edwards up to the full team for the following season. Edwards was mostly used for depth as the Eagles already had many solid players at the linebacker position. Guys like Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and Nathan Gerry, were all very solid, and more experienced players which gave them the edge over Edwards for most of that year. However the Eagles had countless injuries that season, one of them being Nigel Bradham, which gave Edwards the start for four games that year. In those four games Edwards impressed the team, and the Eagles knew that he was a guy they wanted to keep around. 

In the 2020-2021 offseason, The Eagles let go of Bradham and Grugier-Hill to free agency which put Edwards at the top of the depth chart. Along with Nathan Garry being on the injured reserve right now, Edwards has stepped up and has played well over the course of this season. The most notable game for Edwards so far was Week 8 against the Eagles Bitter rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Edwards recorded a team high 13 tackles, along with a strip sack which would then be picked up by Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, and returned for a touchdown. Edwards was a big part in the Eagles 23-9 win over the Cowboys, and has looked great this year, especially in these past couple of weeks. 

Edwards has already had a great career of football starting all the way back from the one and only Lakes High School, Dominating at the College level with Wisconsin, and now being the starting middle linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be really exciting to see where Edwards goes from here and how his career will play out in the NFL