McFarland Commits to BYU

The latest BYU commit comes by way of Box Elder High School where a versatile Darius McFarland has played tight end, defensive end, middle linebacker, and long snapper. A two-way player, McFarland made a commitment to BYU early with a year of high school football left to play.

Last Friday, he made it official. Box Elder High School product Darius McFarland decided that he would make his intentions known to the BYU coaching staff while on a visit to the campus. He previously had been offered by BYU earlier this year.

“It was an amazing experience for me,” McFarland said. “They brought a few recruits up to a recruiting function where we ate dinner and socialized with some players and coaches. They called me back into this room, which was kind of away from everybody, and Coach Kaufusi and Coach Howell were there.

“They gave me a rundown of what BYU football was all about, and then said what they thought of me as a football player and as a person. Then they extended the offer and it was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. To get that first division one football offer from BYU was an amazing experience. It’s something that you should always remember, but then for me getting it from BYU was even that much more of an amazing experience.”

With a year left to play football, and holding three offers on the table from BYU, Wyoming, and Navy, McFarland wasn’t sure he was going to commit so early. Utah and Utah State were showing strong interest but wanted to evaluate him a little further.

“Coming into the recruiting process, you know, I didn’t think I was going to [commit so soon] because the recruiting process is really fun,” McFarland said. “It’s a really fun experience to go through when you have schools coming after you, but at the same time, at least for me, I kind of changed my mind after I started getting more interest from BYU. I just thought that maybe by committing it would bring a piece of mind because I know this is where I wanted to be. The only reason why I waited was because I wanted to make sure that I was 100 percent comfortable with BYU. When I knew that I was comfortable, I felt like I didn’t need to wait any more. When I went down last Friday I went ahead and committed. I feel really good about it.

“I was actually in talks with Utah and Utah State, but I felt like they couldn’t offer me what BYU can. BYU was the first to offer me and evaluated me and took a leap of faith with me. The other Utah schools were like, ‘Well, we don’t know and we need to evaluate you a little more’ and wanted me to come to camps. BYU was able to evaluate me and make that offer, which means a lot to me. They saw something and believed in me where as the other schools didn’t.”

The coach that first reached out to McFarland was none other than BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, followed by Nick Howell. McFarland has been worked out by Coach Kaufusi and has nothing but glowing remarks for BYU’s defensive line coach.

“My first contact was Coach Kaufusi and then Coach Howell, so those two are the ones that I primarily talked to during the recruiting process,” McFarland said. “Coach Kaufusi is an amazing coach. He’s one of those guys that for four years I can learn from on and off the field. I got a good look at what type of a coach he is working with him during junior day. He’s an amazing coach and a great teacher of the game. Through talking with him I’ve learned a lot of life lessons as well, so I think he’s the guy that I can learn from both on and off the field for years to come.”

As a defensive lineman, which is what he’ll play at BYU, McFarland considers himself to be a rugged and versatile athlete in the trenches. He comes in at around 6-2, 260-pounds and also plays tight end where he was the leading receiver for the Box Elder Bees last year

“As far as d-line goes I would say that I’m very versatile,” said McFarland. “In any given situation I can get a really good pass rush on, but at the same time I can read the run and I can really hold my ground pretty well. As far what I’m going to do in college I could probably do in college I could probably go both ways given the fact that I’m so versatile. Given that it will give me more opportunities to get out on the field. I started at tight end for three years and made all-region for three years.

“Moving to d-tackle [last year], it took some time to adjust, but I had 42 tackles, five sacks, six tackles for a loss, a block punt, a forced fumble, and one or two recovered fumble last year.”

In 2014, Darius had over 20 catches for nearly 400 yards as a tight end. This year McFarland will continue to go both ways, but this season he’ll be playing fullback.

“I had 20 some-odd catches for 382 receiving yards and a couple of touchdowns,” said McFarland. “We don’t really play a pass heavy offensive system, so I learned really quickly that when the quarterback throws you the ball you need to make a catch. I was able to lead the team in catches and yards on my team. I had a lot more blocking responsibilities than catching that’s for sure.

“This year I’ll be moving to fullback, and I’m really excited about that opportunity to run the ball and running guys over. At tight end, I feel I was able to block and catch passes, and I feel like as a tight end I did both of those really well and how I exceeded. I was able to go out and take on big lineman, linebackers, and catch the ball as well.”

McFarland will graduate early during his senior year and plans on serving a two-year LDS mission. He hopes to return home prior from his mission to participate in BYU’s spring camp.

“I’m planning on graduating early, so as soon as our winter trimester ends I’ll be graduating and hopefully be out in the mission field by March or April,” McFarland said. “Then I’ll be back for the spring of 2018. That’s what I’m planning on doing and I’m excited about it.”

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