2015 defensive tackle/offensive tackle Darius Smalls has attracted the attention from plenty of schools, but only has one offer. Should East Carolina extend him an offer, it would be a top-five destination for him.
Smalls hasn't had much contact with ECU yet, but that could change soon.
“I haven't really had much (contact with ECU),” Smalls told Inside ECU Sports. “They told me they want to come down and watch the first few games of my senior season. If they offer, they'll probably be in my top-five.”
At 6-foot-2 and 340 pounds, Smalls describes himself as fast, technical and physical. He's also good with his hands and explosive off the ball. His recruitment could take off early this fall should other schools offer him if he impresses in his first few games.
Georgia Southern, Maryland, Florida, Miami, Purdue, North Carolina, South Carolina and Cincinnati are all programs that Smalls believes could be watching him closely early this season. Even more, he doesn't feel any more pressure because of it.
“I'm just going to do what I do and play ball,” said Smalls. “I'm not really worried. Whatever happens happens. By that time, I'll probably already have my mind made up.”
Smalls proved to be a valuable asset last season after earning all-conference and all-state all honors. One of his only personal goals is to go out this fall and prove he's that kind of player once again.
“I want to be a two-time all-state player,” said Smalls. “I want to lead my team to at least the third round of the playoffs. I just want to be a leader.”
As he heads into his senior campaign, team leadership is one of Smalls' biggest focuses. As captain of his squad, programs have been taking notice and are liking what they see. He mentioned that Miami, North Carolina and UNC Charlotte have all shown interest in the way he leads his team.
Smalls' value comes on both sides of the ball, too. He is more than capable of making an impact at defensive tackle or offensive guard or tackle. He's seen pretty even recruitment at all those positions and believes that it helps him stand out as a prospect.
“Well, first off, I can make an excellent recruit on both sides of the ball,” said Smalls. “I can be effective to the team and put in the work.”
Some of the programs seeking Smalls' services are quite far from his Jacksonvile, Fla. hometown. Distance doesn't stand out as much of a problem, though. His only concern is how often his family will be able to watch him play.
Smalls' recruitment could be an interesting story to follow. Should he stand out early this fall, it's reasonable to expect some offers to pour in.