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Russellville’s Edgar Amaya signs to play at University of Colorado

Russellville High School lineman Edgar Amaya is going back to his roots out West after signing his letter of intent Wednesday to continue his football career at the University of Colorado.

Amaya is the first Hispanic from Russellville to sign to play Division I football, and he is the ninth player from Russellville to participate in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game, which he played in Dec. 12.

“It’s a dream come true and something I’ve been working toward since I was a little kid and started playing football,” Amaya said. “To be the first Hispanic out of Russellville to do it and one of the first players to do it in a while – it means a lot.”

Russellville head coach John Ritter said he knew how serious Amaya was about playing collegiate football after speaking with him following his freshman season.

“Playing at an elite level was something he expressed coming out of his freshman year,” Ritter said. “We talked to him about the steps to get there, and to say that he followed that path exactly would be an understatement.”

Amaya will be competing at Colorado in the PAC-12 Conference, which Amaya said he grew up watching when he lived in Los Angeles.

“I’ll get to play against my hometown teams, UCLA and USC,” Amaya said. “I’m excited I get to play in my old stadium.”

Amaya, who was recruited by dozens of schools, said the final decision came down to staying close to home and attending Mississippi State or going back to his roots and moving to Colorado.

Ultimately, Colorado won out because Amaya said he felt the program was the best fit for him in terms of the coaching staff, relationship with his family and early playing time.

Amaya said a major selling point for him is Colorado’s plans for him to one day go to the NFL draft, which is his ultimate goal.

“They have put linemen in the NFL, and they currently have the highest-paid lineman of all-time in the NFL,” Amaya said. “The path for the draft, which is where I want to be … was with Colorado.”

Ritter said he has faith Amaya’s work ethic will take him far on and off the field.

“No doubt in my mind he is going to be successful no matter where he goes because of his work ethic,” Ritter said. “He knows how to work, and he wants to work. No matter what happens in his life, he is going to work hard and be successful.”