2005 Prospect: Joe Darger

Before too long, it'll be time to begin talking about the Class of 2005. As we get started on the conversation, they'll be a few guys that come out of nowhere to make an impression. Joe Darger is one of those guys.

Riverton (UT) High junior small forward Joe Darger, a 6-7 curly-haired standout with a feel for the game and a jumper that's accurate beyond the arc, is a player. Don't take TheInsiders.com's word for it, just take a look at the list of schools that visited him last month.

UCLA, Kansas, Gonzaga, Utah, Utah State and New Mexico sent assistants to watch him workout. While the schools might be in different leagues or different parts of the country, they have one thing in common: they got up early to see him.

Darger gets up at about 5:30 a.m. each morning and takes a 15-minute ride over to the local recreation center where he gets up some shots.

"I work out before I go to school in the morning and then on "B" days at school we work out for like an hour and a half running and maybe lift," Darger said. "I usually lift Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school."

In other words, this kid isn't scared to work.

Darger's resume is a work in progress. Last season he averaged a pedestrian 15 points a game in the state of Utah as a sophomore. That wasn't bad but then things started happening for him. He was selected to the all-star game at the inaugural Pangos All-American Camp. A month later he's playing with Salk Lake Metro and leading the Big Time in scoring with a 27-point per game average.

Now, the recruiting attention is picking up. "I was hoping I would get [high D-I interest] but I didn't know for sure that I would."

In addition to the list of schools that stopped by to see him in September, he wouldn't mind hearing from Connecticut and he's always had an affinity and admiration for what Michael Jordan did at North Carolina.

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