Baldwin a Major Prospect

There may not be a better safety prospect in the entire state this year than South Dade's Darin Baldwin. The talented defender has been playing football since he was eight years old.

"I played on varsity as a freshman but I wasn't starting at first," Baldwin said. "The starter was messing up so coach put me in and I've been starting ever since."

Baldwin, who measured in at 5-11 and 176 at a camp last month, says there are many things that separate him from other top defensive back prospects from across the state.

"I've had a chance to talk to a lot of college players," he said. "I talk to Antrel Rolle, Marcus Hudson, and guys like that. They tell me what it's like, what to look for, and things like that. I think I can read players faster than most guys and I can get to the ball really well. And most free safeties in high school just go for the interceptions. I like contact too. I'm not afraid to mix it up."

Baldwin, who finished last season with over 60 tackles and six picks, is also a standout wrestler. He finished second in the state this past season. However, it's on the gridiron where his future lies.

"A lot of coaches have been coming by the school and calling my cell phone," he said. "My top five would be UM, Florida State, NC State, Auburn, and the Gators. I'm just keeping my options open right now. I like UM a lot but my dad was telling me to keep everything open for now."

The rising senior said he was at every UM home game last season and has spoken to UM coaches Mario Cristobal and Tim Walton in recent weeks. In addition, he talks to Charlie Jones on a regular basis.

"Charlie was by the school today to watch practice," he said. "He's ready. He said he's gonna get the starting spot locked down."

Baldwin, who doesn't have any written offers from his favorites yet, said he will break things down later in the season as far as the recruiting process goes.

"A big thing to me is gonna be how the coaches treat me and how they react in certain situations during the season," he said. "I wanna see if they treat me any differently after a big loss or something. It's easy to sit here and tell me what I wanna hear now but how will they be during the season when things are heating up, you know."

Canes Time Top Stories