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Defensive back Brian Edwards is 'with help' following arrest, remains on team


Central Michigan defensive back Brian Edwards walks to the end of the line during a drill at practice Sept. 3 at the East Grass Field.

When Brian Edwards transferred from Florida to Central Michigan before the 2019 season, first-year coach Jim McElwain spoke at length about the defensive back.

Edwards was a player McElwain recruited to play for the Gators while he was the head coach from 2015-17.

"First and foremost, I obviously recruited Brian. He's a wonderful kid," McElwain said in August. "I love his mom. One thing I always tell every one of the kids I recruit is, 'I'm here for you, and I'll do everything I can to help you.'"

Just four months later, McElwain kept his response short when asked about Edwards, who was arrested Nov. 25 for resisting and obstructing and disturbing the peace in an on-campus altercation with university police.

"I know that, from what I understand, everything was dropped," McElwain said. "He's still with us."

Edwards was lodged in the Isabella County Jail at 7:05 p.m. following his arrest. He was arraigned on felony and misdemeanor charges, but those were dropped by Isabella County prosecuting attorney David Barberi.

Lt. Cameron Wassman of CMUPD said university police responded to Edwards "behaving erratically and threatening to harm himself." As officers made contact, he fled on foot.

Since his arrest, Edwards has taken steps through the "appropriate channels" to seek treatment for the "underlying issues" that led to his behavior, Barberi said.

McElwain did not answer if he ever noticed Edwards displaying behavior that was "threatening to harm himself," but he commented on the treatment aspect of the dropped charges.

"He's with help, and we do a great job here on campus as far as helping our kids from that standpoint," McElwain said.

Following the wellness check from police officers that led to Edwards running from them, he was chased and eventually located in the East Complex residential restaurant, also known as Fresh Food Company. 

Edwards "repeatedly resisted" attempts to comply, and a physical confrontation broke out.

One CMUPD officer was treated for minor injuries from the physical altercation with Edwards. The officer was the only person injured.

Barberi said the arrest was "undoubtedly valid" and the felony and misdemeanor charges completely "fit by the textbook standards." He praised the CMUPD's efforts to quickly diffuse the situation.

"Upon further review of the facts of the case, and the underlying issues and events occurring prior to the arrest," Barberi said, "this is a matter best handled outside the criminal justice system."

Before joining Central Michigan, Edwards was arrested for first-degree misdemeanor battery of his girlfriend on May 6, 2019. He spent time at the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville, Florida, but the charges were later dropped.

Edwards is not able to play in the 2019 season for Central Michigan due to NCAA transfer rules.