Deon Edwards reverses course, will return to Arkansas Razorbacks in 2021
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Edwards reverses course, will return to Arkansas in 2021

Deon Edwards (22) is returning to Arkansas for a sixth season in 2021.
Deon Edwards (22) is returning to Arkansas for a sixth season in 2021. (Arkansas Athletics)

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FAYETTEVILLE -- Just a few days after entering the transfer portal, Deon Edwards has had a change of heart.

Instead of pursuing opportunities for his extra year of eligibility elsewhere, the linebacker from Florida will remain in Fayetteville for a sixth season.

Despite being listed as the backup weak-side linebacker throughout the season, Edwards battled injuries early on and ended up playing only six defensive snaps in 2020. All of them came in the final two games of the year.

Where he made his biggest impact was on special teams, as he played 60 total special teams snaps across six games.

That is how most of his career in Fayetteville has gone, as he's played just 47 total defensive snaps and 465 special teams snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He has 18 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, during his time with the Razorbacks.

Listed as a safety coming out of Lake Minneola High in Florida, Edwards was a 5.5 three-star prospect who also picked up Power Five offers from Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina State and South Carolina before committing to Arkansas.

There are now only three of 19 scholarship seniors from the 2020 season who have not announced what they plan to do with the eligibility relief granted by the NCAA in response to the coronavirus pandemic: linebacker Hayden Henry, wide receiver Tyson Morris and kicker A.J. Reed.

Edwards is the eighth senior to decide to return to Arkansas in 2021. The other seven are linebacker Grant Morganand offensive linemen Myron Cunningham and Ty Clary, running back T.J. Hammonds, wide receiver De’Vion Warren, tight end Blake Kern and defensive end Dorian Gerald.

The other eight are moving on. Rakeem Boyd and Jerry Jacobs opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft before the end of the season, while Jonathan Marshall, Feleipe Franks and Xavier Kelly waited until after the season to declare for the draft. Chibueze Nwanna, Jack Lindsey and Micahh Smith are in the portal.

Seniors who decide to return to school will not count against the 85-man scholarship limit. That means those who chose to leave - whether to enter the NFL Draft or transfer portal - also don’t have any impact on Arkansas’ scholarship situation for next season.

Click here for HawgBeat’s latest projected scholarship distribution for 2021.