By winning the Jerry Rice Award as the top newcomer in the Football Championship Subdivision last season, Fordham running back Chase Edmonds set the bar high for himself this year.
After Saturday, it's safe to say he's cleared it.
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The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Edmonds, who entered the day second in the FCS in rushing, racked up a Patriot League-record 347 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 31 carries to go along with two catches for 55 yards and another score in Fordham's wild 59-42 win over Lehigh.
Edmonds has 1,332 yards and an FCS-leading 18 rushing touchdowns in eight games for Fordham, which is ranked 10th nationally. He is on pace to shatter the program records he set last year, when he had 1,838 rushing yards, 2,473 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns as a freshman on a team that won the Patriot League and went deep into the FCS playoffs.
Fordham is 7-1 this season (with a win over Army and the only loss coming to Villanova) and, largely thanks to Edmonds, has legitimate hopes of winning the national title.
As for how one of the most productive running backs in the country ended up at Fordham, a private school of about 15,000 in the not-exactly-a-college-football-hotbed of New York City, Edmonds told the New York Post before the season that he had only a handful of FBS offers during the recruiting process, all of which were to play defensive back. During his senior year, a few additional schools entered the picture with opportunities on offense, but Fordham had been has first offer, and the staff never wavered in its commitment to playing him at running back.
Needless to say, that turned out to be a good decision. After starting his career as a backup Edmonds has run for more than 100 yards 15 times in his brief career and since the beginning of this month has put up ridiculous single-game totals of 234, 230 and now 347 yards.
It's questionable whether that pace is sustainable, but what isn't up for debate is that Edmonds is running both through and over opponents and right into the Fordham, Patriot League and FCS record books.