PITTSBURGH — There was a time when it might not have seemed weird that Trey Edmunds recorded his first career NFL interception in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 17-12 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
After all, Edmunds came out of Dan River High School in the Class of 2012 as a four-star outside linebacker, the No. 7 player in the state of Virginia and the No. 16 outside linebacker in the country.
Committed to Virginia Tech, Edmunds was expected to go play for legendary Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who has coached over 50 players that have gone on to be drafted into the NFL, including three Pro Bowlers.
But Edmunds also played running back at Dan River, and was a good one. Good enough that a roster crunch at that position led the Hokies to play him in all 12 games as a true freshman on that side of the ball.
Edmunds averaged over four yards per carry and never looked back. When he lost his starting job after a pair of injuries, he transferred from Virginia Tech to his father’s alma mater, Maryland.
If offense instincts can be handed down from one generation to the next, Trey got his from his father, Ferrell Edmunds, who was a two-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Miami Dolphins and also played for the Seattle Seahawks in a six-year NFL career.
After college, Trey caught on with the New Orleans Saints and then landed in Pittsburgh in 2018 after younger brother Terrell had been drafted to play safety in the first round.
Solidly a running back at this point in time, the abilities that once made Trey a four-star prospect at linebacker have now made him an outstanding special teams player. It was in that role that Trey hauled in his first interception since high school on Sunday night.
Los Angeles punter Johnny Hekker lined up to throw a fake punt, and Edmunds dropped into a zone. When gunner David Long, Jr cut to the inside, Hekker led him just a bit too far and the ball came straight to Edmunds for his first career interception.
ALL DAY TREY!
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) November 10, 2019
Edmunds became the first NFL player to play running back and record an interception in a game since Kenny Gamble of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 11, 1988.
So it definitely came as a surprise. But the Steelers were not surprised that Hekker lined up to throw the ball. One of the NFL’s best punters, he’s also become adept at faking it, as well, and it was something the Steelers paid special attention to coming into their game with the Rams.
“They got into that formation earlier in the game and that got out of it and punted it,” Edmunds said. “We knew that he was capable of making that throw. We’d seem him do it numerous times. He can sling it, with guys that can get open. It was just a matter of if he was going to do it and us being ready.”
Edmunds and the rest of the Steelers were ready, and that’s how a running back ends up with an interception. Not only is that Trey’s first pick since he suited up for Dan River, he tied his brother Trey’s career interception total with one — something that might get brought up at the Edmunds family Thanksgiving celebration.
“He needs to pick one,” Trey said with a smile.