For the second time in as many weeks, USC basketball coach Frank Martin offered an in-state prospect. Last week it was guard Jacobi Wright of Legacy Charter in Greenville. Wednesday it was 6-11 forward Cesare Edwards of Hartsville. Martin and his staff have watched Edwards for years, including when recruiting their current point guard Trae Hannibal out of Hartsville. Edwards recruiting stock has continued to climb, and Martin decided to add more value to his resume.
“They liked his size as everybody else does, and basically his skill set for his size,” said Hartsville coach Yusef English. “They liked his ability to shoot the ball and play multiple positions. The timing was pretty good for them, and of course Cesare was very appreciative.”
Martin recruits a certain type of player because he has a coaching style different from most. He is outwardly aggressive in teaching his players in practice and in games, and he demands a great deal defensively from his players. Not every player fits with Martin. English said that won’t be a problem for Edwards.
“I think Cesare is a good fit for any program to be honest with you,” English said. “He does so many different things so well, and he responds to different type of coaching, because I’ve had to coach him many different ways this year and over the last three years. Personally I feel like no matter what school he ends up going to I think it’s a good fit for him.”
Edwards also has offers from Clemson, College of Charleston, Presbyterian, Xavier, Western Carolina, VCU, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, VCU and Florida. He’s risen to three-star status by 247Sports and is ranked as the #31 power forward in the country and #6 prospect in the state and had career high averages last season of 16 points 13 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. For English, it’s gratifying to see his star pupil develop as he has.
“I said this to him when he was a freshman, I let him know where he was, where he stood and what the possibilities were for him,” his coach said. “Kids don’t usually believe you when you’re talking the hype. But he and his parents believed in me and they really, really believed in the process of what it was going to take. They believed in Upward Stars Southeast as his AAU program. They really, really went about this thing the right way trusting the process, trusting the right people who they put their kid with, and it worked out.”
The extended dead period in recruiting has slowed the process for him, but he and his family plan to take their time with a goal of being committed by November.