DALLAS — Former Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards has returned to play professional football in America.
Edwards signed with the XFL’s Dallas Renegades instead of playing a fifth year in the Canadian Football League. The Renegades, who made room for Edwards on their roster by waiving receiver Jarrod Heard, made the announcement on Twitter.
Edwards, 31, played one year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the past three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Edwards caught 244 passes for 3,181 yards and 16 touchdowns while playing in the CFL.
He signed with the XFL as a free agent with the league’s Team 9 practice squad on Feb. 19. Edwards signed with the Renegades on Feb. 25.
His contract with the Argonauts expired Feb. 20.
Edwards led Appalachian State to a pair of FCS national championships in 2006-07 and to four Southern Conference titles from 2006-09. He also led the Mountaineers to a historic 34-32 upset of then-No. 5 Michigan in 2007.
He nearly led the Mountaineers to a FCS championship game in 2009 when they played at Montana in the semifinals of the playoffs, but a potential game-winning drive stalled at the Grizzlies’ 5-yard line.
Edwards also received the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the top FCS player. He was inducted into the Appalachian State Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in 2016.
Edwards was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the third round — 89th overall — of the 2010 draft. He was moved to receiver, but saw limited action. He did not catch a pass for the Panthers until 2012, when he caught five passes for 121 yards, one that went for 82 yards against the Washington Redskins.
Edwards returned punts and kickoffs for the Panthers and played quarterback in a handful of plays. He was released by the Panthers in 2013 and was picked up by the Cleveland Browns for two games. He caught one pass for 10 yards with the Browns.
Edwards signed with the Chicago Bears the following season, but was released before the season started.
Edwards turned to the Roughriders in 2016 when he caught 19 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown. He was traded to Toronto the following season and caught 83 passes for 962 yards and four touchdowns.
The Renegades, coached by Bob Stoops, are 2-1 this season. The XFL was rebooted after folding following the 2001 season, which was its only in operation.