Thunder and overcast skies greeted Armwood at its mid-afternoon practice Monday, not that senior TB Wade Edwards is benefiting from any such cloud cover these days.
The proverbial heat's bearing down on his stocky 175-pound frame more than ever.
"It's up to me now," he said.
Edwards, who ran a leg on the Hawks' county runnerup 4x100-meter relay team last spring, suddenly has emerged as the primary ballcarrier for his team's Aug. 26 nationally televised game at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.
The son of a former sleek Hawks tailback of the same name, Edwards was thrust into the role when an MRI exam last week revealed a slight meniscus tear in University of Florida commitment Matt Jones' left knee.
"I know it's a big opportunity for me to expose my talent and I just feel responsible," said Edwards, who has offers from Youngstown State and Alabama-Birmingham. "It's a big responsibility for me."
At 5-foot-9, Edwards, who bench presses 285, brings an entirely different dynamic to Armwood's backfield.
Whereas Jones is a dreadlocked boulder once he gets downhill, Edwards, who loads up on chicken Alfredo and Pedialyte before each game, can use his speed and diminutiveness to lose himself behind the Hawks' imposing linemen.
So can sophomore Greg Newton, who could share handoffs with Edwards (23 carries, 247 yards in 2010).
"The good thing about them is, they're a nice curveball from Matt Jones," Coach Sean Callahan said, "but they're the same kind of back," Callahan said.