Coach Spotlight: Darius Cummings

Astronaut High School in Titusville, Fla., is located near Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Coach Randy Hallock thinks he has a player with a football career about to "take off" in a big way in 2009.

"Darius Cummings has been a four-year starter for us," said Hallock. "Every year he's been here he's gotten bigger and stronger, just an incredible work ethic."

Cummings, who is 6-foot-2, 260 lbs., comes off a junior year in which he recorded 81 tackles and 10 sacks playing on the War Eagles defensive front.

"As a player, Darius has all of the physical tools you look for. He's got great size, quickness (4.8 40) and plays the game very physically. We try to get the most out of his versatility and use him in different places, because people usually run away from him."

Coach Hallock said he's used Cummings at both defensive tackle and defensive end, where he plays primarily and is projected to play at the college level, but has also used him on offense at tight end, tackle, and even fullback and halfback.

Cummings had offers from top schools from all across the country such as Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, just to list a few. On 7/14 he gave his commitment to Coach Haggins at Florida State and choose to become part of the Seminole class of '10.

"He's a great kid," said Hallock. "Darius comes from a good family, and he's an excellent student (3.2 GPA)."

Cummings has a little football in his family's background. His cousin, Dwayne Dixon, played at the University of Florida in the early 80s and had a brief stint in the NFL with the Buccaneers. Currently he's coaching at Ohio University.

Cummings has his senior season at Astronaut to look forward to before he arrives on the FSU campus.

"We have the ability to be very, very good," said Hallock. "I'm looking for Darius to step up and provide leadership. I'm also looking for more consistency. He makes big plays for us, plays hard, uses his head, but I want him to be consistent on every play."
"Last year, Darius was named All-District, this year he's pre-season all-everything."

The War Eagles have some returning talent surrounding Cummings for a run at a state title. Safety Josh Rivers (6-1, 200) is a key to the secondary. Matt Bahr at tight end is 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs. "He's a great student with a 3.8 GPA. I think he'll end up going to one of the Services Academies," said Hallock.

Also, senior Michael Smith (5-9, 170) returns. Smith had more than 700 yards on the ground last season with five touchdowns.

Astronaut opens their regular season on September 9th when they play Palm Bay in Melbourne, Fla. where they'll try to avenge a loss from a year ago. They finished 2008 with a 6-4 record and a big win against rival Titusville in the season finale.

Darius Cummings profile page

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