Ravens rookie running back Gus Edwards isn't particularly active on Twitter.
Since agreeing to join the team as an undrafted free agent April 28, Edwards hasn't sent out an original tweet from his personal account (@GodsGiftGus13). He's sent a couple of reply tweets and has shared 12 retweets. Some were humorous; more were inspirational. Clearly, they all meant something to him considering how sparingly he uses the account.
Three of them were informational tweets that had been passed along by one of his newest teammates, safety Tony Jefferson. On April 29, Jefferson shared three tweets full of advice for this year's undrafted free agents about how they could make their respective teams. Ravens running backs coach Thomas Hammock told Edwards he should check out what Jefferson had to say.
Nearly four months later, I asked Edwards if he remembered the advice Jefferson shared. He didn't hesitate in rattling off Jefferson's advice.
"He said a lot of great things in there," Edwards told PressBox. "Staying at the facility late, there's no need to go home. You can't go out when other guys are going out. You can't do the same things drafted players do. You've got to ask questions. Take care of your body."
Sure enough, Edwards nailed the crux of Jefferson's messages. In three parts (
), Jefferson laid out guidance for undrafted players to try to stick with their NFL teams. Jefferson, of course, is the perfect example for players like Edwards. After not hearing his name called during the 2013 NFL Draft, he made the Arizona Cardinals' roster. He's now headed into his sixth season in the NFL after signing a four year, $34 million deal with the Ravens as a free agent last year.
"It's helped a lot," Edwards said. "I haven't been surprised by anything since I got here."
Edwards is trying to follow Jefferson's path. Edwards, 23, played three seasons at Miami before transferring to Rutgers for the final year of his college career. After going unpicked during the 2018 NFL Draft, Edwards signed in Baltimore. He's made an impression during training camp and earned the start at running back during the Hall of Fame Game against the Chicago Bears Aug. 2.
There's clear evidence of how Edwards has taken to Jefferson's advice.
"Don't rush home," Jefferson said in a tweet about undrafted rookies needing to stay at the facility late to take care of their bodies. Jefferson also referenced the famous "can't make the club in the tub" phrase.
Edwards was one of the last players left on the field after practice Aug. 7, having spent 20-plus minutes signing autographs for every kid who approached him.
"I'm not in a rush to leave," Edwards said. "For what? I'm living my dream. I've got everything I need right here [at the facility]."
Jefferson also said undrafted rookies "can't do what the draft picks do. Especially the high draft picks. They can afford to mess up in practice, you can't. You will get cut ASAP! So when they wanna go out on the weekend ... nope." (Actually, it was an "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" GIF that said "nope" but for the purposes of translating Twitter, stick with me.)
Edwards, a Staten Island, N.Y. native, admitted he hasn't had to turn down any opportunities to go out yet because this year's rookie class has been more "focused" on football. He said it probably wouldn't have been an issue for him anyway -- his priorities are a little bit different because he has a 1-year-old son, Gus Jr.
"I did go see my son right before camp," Edwards said before explaining his fellow rookies, even the high draft picks, haven't been going out. "We're kind of locked in right now."
Jefferson also tweeted to "ask questions. Don't be afraid or mute in meetings, engage in the convo. If you don't get what they're explaining don't leave the building until you do." Edwards said he's been unafraid to ask for help thus far, including from Jefferson.
"I've said, 'What's up?' to him a couple of times," Edwards said.
The impact the veteran safety has had on the undrafted free agent is clear.
"He's one of those guys that I just look up to," Edwards said. "He was in the same position as me. One of those guys that kind of went unnoticed, came in and made a name for himself. Tony Jefferson is a role model."
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox