Badgers' Edwards explains reasons for returning to school - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers' Edwards explains reasons for returning to school

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MADISON (WKOW) -

TJ Edwards did not have long to celebrate Wisconsin's Orange Bowl victory before sitting down to do some serious thinking.

"Had to come to a gut decision. Finally, for once in my entire life pick something that's all truly about me. I didn't take opinions into account, which is hard to me. I value the opinions of people close to me. I just felt it was the right thing to do. There's things I need to work on to become a good NFL player, which is what I want to be."

So, instead of declaring for the NFL draft, the All-American linebacker announced he'd be returning for his senior season. Edwards admits not everyone close to him agreed with the decision, but Badgers head coach Paul Chryst was thrilled.

"Giving Coach Chryst a call and hearing his excitement really made me feel a lot better about it," Edwards said with a smile.

Edwards was a Butkus Award finalist after starting 14 games at inside linebacker as a junior. He logged 75 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and two sacks. Despite that production, Edwards was told he had some work to do to prepare himself for the pro game.

"Obviously, get faster. I think that was one of my critiques and things that people didn't believe in. Just trying to show those explosive plays that I can make quick plays."

Edwards didn't just return to impress the scouts, however. He feels he has some unfinished business after the disappointments he's suffered in the Big Ten Championship games throughout his career. He also thinks this could be the group to bring a National Championship to Madison.

"It's tough to go back to the Big Ten back-to-back and lose. I really want to part of history. I truly believe that this team coming back is a team that can do that."

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