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September 14, 2013
Vince Edwards nearly committed to Purdue two winters ago, stopping just short of ending colleges' pursuit before it even really started.
It wasn't until Saturday evening, though, that the Boilermakers finally nudged the 6-foot-7 Class of 2014 forward from Middletown, Ohio, into the fold.
Edwards committed to Purdue this weekend during his official visit.
For the most part, it had been the Boilermakers all along.
"At one point in time I was kind of thinking about Michigan also," Edwards said Sunday after leaving campus, "but when it came down to it, Purdue felt comfortable and felt like home. Any time you feel like you're comfortable any time you set foot on campus, it's a good feeling.
"And coming up on my visit and playing pick-up with some of the guys who'll be my teammates, I was able to gel really well with them right away, and that's a great feeling for when I'm going to be coming in as a freshman next year. It just felt like a great place to be."
One of those future teammates was fellow Ohioan Dakota Mathias, who committed to the Boilermakers in the spring. The shooting guard visited again Saturday.
"Beside the fact that Coach (Matt) Painter's been there from Day 1 showing his dedication and commitment to me as a No. 1 priority, my future teammate, Dakota Mathias, had a lot to do with it," Edwards said. "We really gelled together in our two-man game (during pick-up play Saturday) and I really liked the fact I could come in with another guy like that."
What immediately drew Painter and former assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry to the Middletown High School star was his versatility.
Edwards will likely play the 4 position at Purdue, with his perimeter abilities - he's always shown the ability to handle, pass and shoot, while also being a productive player in post-type capacities - lending themselves well to the matchups game Painter played at that position when Robbie Hummel was a Boilermaker.
"He's compared me to him a lot, but said I might be a little more athletic and maybe able to do a few more things that way," Edwards said. "That's the role I'm going to want to come in and take."
From a skills perspective, Edwards has always been advanced, the product of a basketball-savvy family.
His father, Bill, was one of the great players in Wright State history. His older brother, Bill Jr., plays at Miami (Ohio) after signing with Penn State out of high school. His mother, Glennetta Patton, also played college basketball.
Vince Edwards believes, though, he's only just scratching the surface.
"My whole game, I can honestly develop my handle, getting stronger, getting quicker, getting faster, more explosive to the rim," Edwards said. "There's so much more I can develop to elevate my game that much more. I have so much room to develop still it's ridiculous. I feel like I have a lot of potential and a lot of things still left to learn."
It starts now, as Edwards prepares for both his senior season at Middletown, then at Purdue.
"I'm ready to just get my senior season started," Edwards said. "I have a whole lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I just need to focus and concentrate on winning my senior year, keeping my grades right and trying to carry my team to a title before up at Purdue with the Boilermakers."
Through the course of the recruiting process, Edwards also drew offers at one time or another from Michigan, Dayton, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Texas Tech and others.
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