DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) — Below the bright lights above Derby’s Panther Stadium, one of the most electrifying athletes in the state has dazzled for the last three years

Four-star running back Dylan Edwards is committed to play at Notre Dame next season. But for all his achievements on the field, Edwards wants you to know he’s more than a football player.

“I just feel like now that I’m committed to Notre Dame, everyone’s assuming that’s all I want to talk about,” Edwards said. “But if you know me, I’m just a guy that likes to joke a lot, laugh a lot. I love to make people happy and make people laugh, and that’s what I enjoy doing.”

Derby Head Coach Brandon Clark has known Edwards since he was in the first-grade. He said Edwards is as good a person off the field as he is on it.

“Dylan’s a great kid,” Clark said. “He’s got a great soul and a good heart. He’s got a lot going on with looking forward to the next level, leaving at semester. Our program has a culture that’s surrounded by four elements; that’s accountability, character, energy, and service, and Dylan checks all four of those boxes.”

Edwards grew up dreaming about being Derby’s star running back, and now that he’s achieved that, he’s becoming a role model for the kids who look up to him.

“Just like he wants the best for himself, he wants the best for everyone around him,” best friend and Derby defensive end Samuel Same said of Edwards. “Everyone he cares for, he wants them to live the best dreams they have for themselves too.”

Edwards will enroll early at Notre Dame, meaning he will be leaving Derby to at the end of this semester. So, his days in his hometown are numbered.

“I just try to soak all of this in,” Edwards said. “I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m in college and playing ball.”

Derby beat Newton last night, 49-20. Edwards paced the Panthers with four touchdowns on Senior Night. He and the Panthers will open the playoffs with a home game against Topeka High next week.