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Top 20 Performances for 2015 Cincinnati Football: No. 11 Zach Edwards

The Cincinnati secondary struggled all season to make game-changing plays, but when they did occur, they were frequently courtesy of safety Zach Edwards.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

In three seasons with the Bearcats, safety Zach Edwards has put up modest numbers and has been a consistent contributor to the defense. This year, he was named All-American Honorable Mention for his conference. Playing in all twelve games, Edwards had at least four tackles in every game, with his lowest output a four-tackle performance in the season opener. Edwards also finished with three interceptions on the year.

His first interception would come in a close victory over Miami (OH) early in the season. After the Bearcats offense turned the ball over early in the fourth quarter, Miami was in scoring position with the game tied at 30 before Edwards picked off a pass and returned it 29 yards. Though the Bearcats didn't score on the next possession, the interception kept Miami from scoring, and with such a close victory for the Bearcats, that interception was a huge play for Cincinnati.

Perhaps Edwards' best game came in a loss against Houston, another close game, where he finished with 11 tackles and an interception. In the third quarter, with the Bearcats down 30-14, Edwards made a play that may have sparked a comeback effort, picking off Greg Ward Jr. and putting the ball at the one-yard line for the Bearcats. They scored on the next play, and after a two-point conversion, were within one score. Though the Bearcats lost, the turnover was a major momentum shift that kept them in the game.

Edwards had his second double-digit tackle game the next week against Tulsa, recording a season-high 12 tackles. He recorded another interception late in the year in a loss against South Florida, though the Bearcats were well out of the game at that point.

Though Edwards didn't finish with a career-high in tackles (he had 121 in 2014), he still made an impact on the field and was a key contributor in several games. Throughout his career as a Bearcat, he currently has 288 tackles, 10.5 for  loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and seven interceptions. Look for more of him this upcoming season.