The heat surrounding University of Arkansas commit and West Helena Central cornerback Darius Winston has now grown to White-Hot proportions.
Winston (6-1, 180, 4.3), one of three 2009 Razorback pledges and someone who numbers 21 scholarship offers, was elevated to a five-star ranking by Scout.com earlier this week, the number five cornerback in the countr and No. 43 on its list of prospects nationally regardless of position.
That means he is now rated a 5-star prospect with both major recruiting services.
"I try my best not to let it go to my head, just try to stay humble and just keep working hard," noted Winston, who attended Arkansas' Red-White game and Junior Day last Saturday. "But I am very, very honored by all this attention."
Scout.com is still in the process of evaluating other Arkansas in-state prospects such as Fayetteville offensive lineman and UA commit Colby Berna (6-4, 275).
Greg Powers, a Scout.com recruiting analyst and part of the voting bloc, said it was inevitable that Winston would be a five-star prospect once he got rated.
"There are several reasons that Darius brings to the table that elevated him to a 5-star prospect when before he had not even been in the Top 300," Powers said. "He is fast and he is a lock down corner, but he also is a very physical player with great size.
"When you looks at cornerbacks, Darius would be the prototype with his size, speed, physicality, hips - just everything you are looking for," Powers added.
"He obviously has a lot of high profile offers, too and while that can't be the deciding factor before an evaluation - it has to be about the kid's talent - you just can't ignore that in the process as well," Powers continued. "Basically he has the best of both worlds - the talent and the offers and Arkansas is getting them a great one."
Winston reports offers from Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan, Clemson, Nebraska, Memphis, and Arkansas State.
"Most of them tell my coach of the offers after they have seen my highlight tape…," Winston said. "They check me out and ask my coach to ask me if they have a chance."
Do they? Apparently not.
"I am absolutely solid to Arkansas," Winston said.
Winston and teammates - running back and fellow UA commit Turell Williams (6-2, 215) and quarterback Deondre Johnson (5-11, 190) - are all expected to be on hand for Bobby Petrino's football camp on July 8-11 in Fayetteville.
UA fans will have a chance to see the trio in action on Aug. 29 when the Cougars open the high school season with visiting Pulaski Academy.
It will be a rematch of Pulaski Academy's 40-25 win over West Helena last season.
"We played good through three quarters and then lost our head in the fourth," Cougars star cornerback and UA commit Darius Winston said. "We learned that we have to play all the way through in a game like that. We have a little bit more confidence going into that game (this season)."
It is obviously one game that Winston won't have to worry about the ball being put in the air since the pass-happy Bruins have been known to toss it 60 times a game.
"I am going to love that," Winston said. "It may be one of the few times all year I am going to have a chance to be near the ball because a lot of people throw away from my side. They will just throw it all over the place."
Darius The Five Star
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