John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) running back Devin Darrington began the recruiting process with offers from pretty much every academic-oriented institution out there, the likes of Harvard; Yale; Columbia; Cornell; Lafayette; Dartmouth; and Holy Cross pulling through. But with the spring evaluation period in full swing, the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder with a 4.52-laser timed 40-yard dash has seen his profile reach a new level.
During the last few weeks Rutgers, Pitt, Indiana and Vanderbilt have anted up, while Darrington’s attracted interest from several other regional and Midwest programs.
“This spring has been going great. There’s been some great schools coming by to see me, and I’ve just been grinding,” said the well-spoken Darrington, an honors student at the MIAA “B” Conference program. “I’ve gotten a lot of great offers so far, and now I’m getting ready for camp season so I can see if I can get even more interest. God has blessed me.”
With many of his FBS suitors only recently coming through, Darrington hasn’t had time to fully evaluate them yet. Thus, he’s sticking by the politically correct mantra: “I like them all.”
That said, an academically-renowned institution like Vanderbilt would seem to grab his attention.
“I was very excited when Vanderbilt came through. I’ve researched them and I know it’s an outstanding school,” Darrington said. “I definitely want to get out there to visit.”
The John Carroll product has been to Rutgers, taking in the Scarlet Knights earlier this spring. He said he liked the facilities, coaching staff and the welcoming environment in Piscataway, N.J. Additionally, Darrington has trekked through Harvard, Yale, Syracuse, Clemson, South Carolina and Auburn.
“I could see myself at a school like Harvard or Yale. Just because I have some larger offers, I’m not ruling out [the Ivies] or any school,” said Darrington, who would like to check out recent suitors IU and Pitt, in addition to others that may come through, during the summer. “The academics at those schools are tremendous and it’s a great degree. I’m open to every school.”
As far as the hometown school, Maryland, is concerned, Darrington said he used to speak to the former Terps’ staff all the time. He said multiple coaches from the Randy Edsall regime were in contact and had established a rapport with him.
“The old staff was actually going to offer me. I’d been up there for visits before and I’m pretty sure they were going to offer this offseason,” Darrington said. “But then the whole thing happened with the coaching change, and I haven’t really heard too much from the new staff yet.”
It’s possible that could change later this spring or summer. UMD head coach D.J. Durkin has several elite runners on his board, and may only be inclined to take one or two in the 2017 class, but Darrington is on the radar.
“One Maryland coach came by my school to see me work out, and then a couple of them started following me on Twitter,” Darrington said. “I’ve actually met Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim] and Coach [Anthony] Tucker before, and they both seemed like cool guys. I wasn’t really allowed to talk to them, but hopefully they’ll begin contacting me. Also, Coach [Mike] London started following me on Twitter too, so we’ll see if he contacts me.”
If the Terps’ staff did eventually pursue the John Carroll back in earnest, Darrington said it would be “real cool.” But he also mentioned he wouldn’t simply place Maryland atop his leaderboard just because the school’s coaches offered a scholarship.
“I’d have to meet the coaches on a visit, talk to the head coach and just get a feel for the program there now,” Darrington said. “Like I said, I knew the old staff, but I don’t really know the new guys yet. So I’d have to do my research, just like with every other school.
“But, I have been up there before for games and things. It’s a great school, a great environment, great people and a great campus. I’ve always enjoyed myself when I’ve been up there for camps and games. It’s a school I would definitely look at.”
Darrington isn’t sure when he’ll be getting back to College Park, Md., or any other university for that matter. He said his father handles the scheduling, for both unofficial visits and camps, and the two haven’t discussed where they’ll be heading. Darrington does figure to attend a Maryland camp this August, however.
“The plan is to take some unofficial visits, go to some camps, and then pick a top-five,” Darrington said. “Then after that I’d like to take my official visits. I want to take my time with the process and make the right decision. I have no deadline.”
Darrington is coming off a season where he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns on 182 carries. He helped lead undefeated John Carroll to a “B” Conference title.