Darby excited about Sun Devil pledge

Many Pac-10 schools showed interest in Alden Darby, but no programs stepped up to the plate with an offer. Recently, ASU has started to recruit the Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan High School athlete in earnest, and he rewarded them with his verbal commitment during his official visit this past weekend. Back from Tempe, Devils Digest caught up with one of ASU's latest commits of the 2010 class.

"It feel great to commit to Arizona State," said the 6-0 180 Alden Darby. "I really felt welcomed on my visit. Coaches, players all treated me like family there. They all accepted me and I had a great time. It was my first time there and I never felt weird or anything like that.

"I liked the weather and everything else out there. I already feel like part of the team. I knew I was going to commit to Arizona State and the visit just made it official."

Darby, who was hosted by Jamaar Jarrett and Toa Tuitea, indicated that he talked to fellow 2010 class pledge Kevin Anderson about the Sun Devils which helped him get familiarized with the team and set high expectations for his visit. The Millikan standout pointed out that he also knows Cerritos Junior College Wide Receiver who will also join ASU this year.

ASU coaches Matt Lubick and Eric Yarber were contacted by a former Millikan player who knew Yarber from his own recruitment, and he asked them to take a look at Darby. Once Lubick and Yarber saw Darby's highlight tape, the recruiting efforts increased and plans were made to have him visit Tempe with the intentions of offering him a scholarship.

Darby was being recruited by Oregon, Washington, USC, UCLA, and Arizona who all told him that they had intended to extend him a scholarship offer. Yet, those schools never took action due to his academics. The defensive back took the SAT test just a couple of weeks ago (Darby hasn't received the score yet) and needed to complete a couple of core classes to fulfill his eligibility requirements.

"They showed a lot of interest in my schoolwork and education," remarked Darby. "I got a good vibe from them right away and they laid out a plan for me to help me get eligible. They showed me how much they wanted me and they told me to hit the books hard and that's what I'm going to do now.

"I was talking to Vontaze (Burfict) and he was in worse shape than I was and he worked hard and got eligible. He told me that I can do it so I feel good about hitting the books and getting it done. The coaches feel confident that I can get the grades I need. I'm not worried about it."

Darby played quarterback and wide receiver for the Rams, as well as cornerback which is the position he is slated to play for ASU. As a senior he collected 38 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 15 pass deflections. Millikan finished the 2009 season 6-5 and lost in first round of playoffs to Edison 59-14.

"We didn't have a good year but I don't think it affected my recruitment," claimed Darby. "It's all about how you perform on the field and that's how schools look at you. But I'm sure some programs didn't recruit our school because of our record."

Darby is content playing cornerback for the Sun Devils, and thinks he can also contribute at kick and punt return. While he never was officially clocked running a 40-yard dash, he is confident with in his speed. Furthermore, he will run track this year for the first time competing in the 100m, 200m and 4x100 events.

"I like to play bump and run, man to man defense," said Darby of his skills. "Because I also played receiver that helps me a lot at cornerback because I have a feel for what the receivers are going to do. I need to work more on not getting beat when receivers are making double moves."


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