David Edwards didn't look like a quarterback during his youth football playing days.
He was too big, literally, surpassing the maximum allowable weight at the position.
"I was a right guard and a defensive end in grade school," Edwards said. "All my cousins got to play quarterback."
Edwards didn't look like an option quarterback when he reached Downers Grove North.
His dream was to follow in the footsteps of his cousins, former DG players Tom and Garrett Edwards, though, so when his freshman class was going through tryouts in 2011, he threw his hat in the quarterback ring.
"I just really didn't want to play guard or offensive line," Edwards said. "They gave me the opportunity to play quarterback. It was a tryout. There were only three quarterbacks. They asked me if I wanted to play."
Two years later, the only people who think the 6-foot-6 1/2, 225-pound junior is too big to run the veer option are the ones trying to tackle him.
After leading the Trojans to a Class 8A quarterfinal in just his second season playing quarterback last fall, Edwards is among the biggest reasons expectations at North are as high as they've been since Tom and Garrett Edwards led the program to a 40-9 record that included a state championship (2004) from 2002-05.
"I think we were the underdog last year," David Edwards said. "We played with no pressure. We had a good team and great seniors; that is what put us over the edge over other teams. With the run we made last year, people have expectations for us. If we stay healthy and don't turn the ball over, we have a chance to be good."
A year more familiar with the reads that are integral to running the option, Edwards is surrounded by experienced playmakers.
Eighteen Trojans started at least some games, including Toledo-bound pair of Richard Olekanma (W/DB) and Vontae Diggs (DE/WR) and running back Kyle Leto.
The comfort level and dangerous weapons should mean more passes out of the option, which could change the way college coaches think about Edwards.
There's no doubt he's a Division I player — he has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Vanderbilt and is being recruited by Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State — but he's seen as more of a tight end or defensive end.
He'd even play right guard.
"Right now I just try to focus on school and the team," he said. "That is the biggest thing. For college football, I will take any opportunity."
Downers Grove North at a glance
Last season: 7-5, 2-4, 6th place in West Suburban Silver; lost 26-24 to Benet in 7A quarterfinal.
Playoff history: 16 appearances; 1 state title.
He's back: David Edwards, Jr., 6-6, 230, QB (719 yards rushing, 9 TDs); Richard Olekanma, Sr., 6-3, 215, WR/DB; Vontae Diggs, Sr., 6-4, 205, DE/WR (16 tackles for loss, 6 sacks); Kyle Leto, Sr., 5-6, 160, RB (775 yards rushing, 7 TDs); Jalen Reames, Sr., 6-1, 265, LT.
He's gone: Brandon Salter, RB.
He's new: Charles Creamer, Sr. 5-10, 160, RB; E.J. Phillips, Jr., 6-0, 285, NT.
Big name: Olekanma and Diggs have committed to Toledo.
Big game: The West Suburban Silver opener against defending conference and Class 7A champion Glenbard West on Sept. 13 could go a long way toward deciding the league title. Then again, with six returning playoff teams and four in the preseason Tribune Top 20, the champion may not be undefeated.
Big question: How will Edwards and Co. respond if a second-half deficit forces them out of their methodical ground game?
Breakdown: With 14 returning full-time starters and another four part-timers, the Trojans appear loaded on both sides of the ball. They don't have to go undefeated in league play to be a serious 8A contender, but they do want a favorable playoff draw, because the Class 7A bracket can be tough to navigate from a low seed.
Fast fact: North lost its final three regular-season games last year before regrouping to reach the Class 7A quarterfinals as the No. 8 seed on its side of the bracket.