"When you're fortunate enough to have great athletes like we've had in the past few years sometimes you take it for granted," he said. "You don't coach as much, because, well, you don't really have to."
Switzer took his two Kennedy Awards and three All-State certificates to North Carolina and Crouser his two-time status as an All-State linebacker to Charlotte. GW will spend the preseason defining leadership roles and developing its talent that was previously relegated to role-player status.
That tilts Edwards' focus more toward the teaching side of his job.
"It's exciting to know that there's going to be a lot of new faces. A lot of guys get their chance to show what they can do," Edwards said. "For us as coaches, I think we all felt a little energized out there today because it's a new feeling.
"Where in the past we were worried about not over-coaching. Today we're coaching, and it feels good."
The Patriots, who finished 10-3 in 2012 while reaching the Class AAA playoff semifinals, welcomed 56 players to their first practice sessions. Edwards said that number is consistent with the amount of players who attended offseason workouts during the three-week coaching period in June and July.
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SOUTH CHARLESTON got a nine-hour head-start on its metro rivals, starting practice at midnight Monday morning.
The Black Eagles were 6-4 in 2012, and operating under first-year Coach Donnie Mays, decided to change their previous opening-day regimen.
"The seniors took a vote and we wanted to go early," senior two-way lineman Chance Johnson said. "There's a new atmosphere around here and we just wanted to change things up. It's pretty exciting."
Approximately 60 players attended the practice, though some did not have physicals yet and were unable to participate. Mays estimated SC's roster size at 70 for the season.
"Obviously, it's extremely exciting to be able to be a head coach and to try to do things a certain way," Mays said. "I think what's more exciting is that last year you kind of had an idea of who was on top and stuff like that.
"Now it's more of a wide-open field, and that kind of opens things up for me as a coach to kind of motivate the kids."
South Charleston opens its regular season at George Washington on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.