T.J. Edwards decides to return to Wisconsin, take a shot at Big Ten title for his final season
T.J. Edwards, a Lakes graduate and All-American linebacker for the University of Wisconsin, decided to sit out the NFL Draft and return to the Badgers for his senior year.
“I was definitely close to going,” Edwards told the Chicago Tribune during Big Ten media day in Chicago. “But at the end of the day, I had to go with what I was feeling in my gut. It told me I had more to prove here, more to do here. I want to be a leader on this team. I want to get a Big Ten championship.”
Edwards, who was a runner-up for the Butkus Award last year, said he strives for more than individual recognition.
“I came back for a reason,” he said. “I feel like we have the pieces to do something special. Coming back, I wanted to go out knowing I did everything I could to help bring a Big Ten championship and possibly a national championship.”
Led by their 6-foot-1, 242-pound star wrecking ball, the Badgers are positioned to achieve that distinction. Wisconsin finished 13-1 last season, with Edwards finishing second in tackles (81), including 11 for loss, two sacks and four interceptions.
“It’s not just me, it’s the team working together,” he said. “If we work hard and have good character, those things will come.”
Edwards said this season is all about him being a better example for his teammates.
“Being a leader is something I want to focus on,” he said. “It’s not something I typically like to do — leading with my voice, the yelling and screaming, is definitely something out of my comfort zone. I have to be a very consistent player. That’s not easy, but that’s what I’m trying to be this year.”