BOONE — Former Appalachian State standout quarterback Armanti Edwards is back in professional football, this time with a chance to play quarterback in the Canadian Football League.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced on Thursday that the team has signed Edwards and three other players to their active roster.
Edwards, who played wide receiver and returned kicks for the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns, is listed as a QB/WR on the roster, and plan on giving him a shot to play the position he never got a chance to play in the NFL.
The Greenwood, South Carolina native was the 89th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Panthers.
Edwards is a legend among Appalachian State players, helping lead the team to a pair of Football Championship Subdivision Championships in 2006 and 2007 and helped lead the team to an enormous upset over the University of Michigan in 2007. Edwards won the Walter Payton Awards twice, given to the nation’s top player in the FCS.
Edwards also became the first quarterback in NCAA Division 1 history to throw for 10,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards in a career.
During his time in the NFL, Edwards had six catches for 131 yards, 281 punt return yards and 295 kickoff return yards. He completed two passes for 11 yards.
While the starting QB spot with the Roughriders still belongs to former UNC player Darian Durant, the 33-year-old QB is coming off of a season-ending injury and certainly isn’t getting any younger. Edwards will have a chance to compete for the backup spot, but if things don’t work out, he still has the versatility to be a wideout or a return man for the Saskatchewan club.
Edwards will have to adjust to the rules and the feel of the CFL, which includes a 110-yard field in length and one that is 65 yards wide, compared to the width of an NFL field which is roughly 53 yards. Teams also play with 12 players on the field instead of the customary 11 used by NFL squads.
Saskatchewan’s first of two preseason games is set for Saturday, June 11 with the 20-week regular season getting underway on June 30.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87