Fordham gives thanks Chase Edmonds chose them

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Over the course of a typical day, Chase Edmonds gives thanks for so many things.

For the chance to play college football at Fordham in New York. For a loving, devoted family. For a beautiful daughter. And, of course, for his mother thinking twice before giving him a first name.

“My mom was going to name me Wellington,” Edmonds said. “When I heard that name, I laughed and couldn’t believe it. I have no idea how she came up with that name. I’m just so glad she didn’t name me that.”

Currently, you’ll find Edmonds’ name mentioned among the top players in the FCS. The 5-9, 205-pound junior running back ranks first nationally in rushing yards (1,618) and rushing yards per game (161.8) and second in all-purpose yards (1,941) and all-purpose yards per game (194.1). He’s also tied for third with 16 rushing touchdowns and fourth with 17 total scores as Fordham (7-3, 4-1 Patriot League) prepares to play Bucknell (4-6, 3-2) Saturday on ASN.

Last week, Edmonds rushed for 119 yards and four TDs in a 54-14 win over Holy Cross at Yankee Stadium to set the Patriot League record for most career scoring runs with 59. The two-time consensus All-American also caught seven passes for 77 yards, both career-high totals.

“Being able to play up there was an amazing experience,” Edmonds said. “It was everything you could want: A big stage under the big lights and a big game against Holy Cross. To come out and execute like that as we’re trying to fight for a playoff spot is really great, and the record was just icing on the cake.”

Back on Oct. 8, Edmonds had another memorable game as he had 403 all-purpose yards and 359 rushing yards — both Patriot League records — and four TDs in a win over Lafayette College. No NCAA Division I player has rushed for more yards in a single game this season. He broke a 28-year-old FCS record for average yards per carry (21.1) and became the conference’s all-time scoring leader.

“It’s not just talent,” first-year Fordham coach Andrew Breiner said after that game. “It shows, he prepares. His focus, determination. What the public doesn’t see is the Chase we see Sunday through Friday. You don’t run those numbers by yourself.”

The performance against Lafayette College came a year after Edmonds set the school and league rushing record with 347 yards against Lehigh.

Edmonds became Fordham’s all-time rushing leader in an Oct. 22 win over Georgetown and is now second in Patriot League history with 5,104 yards behind former Colgate standout Jordan Scott (5,621 yards). He also is the school’s career leader in rushing scores (59) and total TDs (66).

“It all means a lot to me,” Edmonds said of his individual honors. “I’m not the biggest or strongest guy out there, but I like to think I’m the hardest worker in the country and really pride myself on that. I believe you get what you put in, and I’m so blessed to have all those accolades. I give all the glory to God and thank my teammates for helping me be the best I can be.”

If Edmonds stays healthy and maintains his current pace, next season he would break the FCS rushing record of 6,559 yards held by former Georgia Southern star Adrian Peterson.

Edmonds, who loves to play the FIFA video game in his free time, is confident in his abilities but also quick to credit others for helping him become a record-setting running back.

“Personally, I believe I’m the best running back in the country at any level and can compete with anybody,” Edmonds said. “I have a great offensive line and the best left tackle in the nation in Anthony Coyle. It’s humbling to know I’m having such a blessed career.”

Years ago, Edmonds was humbled after he was deemed a bit too small and too slow to play major college football despite an all-state career at Central Dauphin East High in Harrisburg, Pa. He committed to Fordham over Delaware and Villanova because of the opportunity to play early in a spread system.

Edmonds delivered in a big way as a true freshman by finishing second in the nation in rushing TDs (23) and fourth in rushing yards (1,838) and all-purpose yards (2,473). Those numbers resulted in him being named a consensus All-American and winning the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman.

Last season Edmonds was selected as a first-team All-American by STATS and a second-team honoree by the Associated Press after ranking among the national leaders in rushing yards (1,648), TD runs (20) and all-purpose yards (2,031). He also finished fourth in voting for the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year award.

This season Edmonds is on his way to earning consensus All-America honors for the third straight year. He is also a Patriot League Commissioner’s Honor Roll student and the proud father of a 20-month-old daughter Avery.

“For me, she’s the motivation to be the best man I can be, on and off the field,” Edmonds said. “Her mother is doing a great job of raising her, and I go home whenever possible to see her. I just want to be successful to give her the life she deserves.”

As for his name, Edmonds is glad his mom thought better than to call him Wellington. Chase seems to be a better fit given his football success.

“It’s turned out pretty well,” Edmonds said. “People chase me around and can’t catch me.”


Photo courtesy Fordham University

Joshua Parrott

Joshua Parrott is a freelance writer based in Houston. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaParrott.