Local DB Enjoying Big Sr. Year

Darin Baldwin was moved from safety to cornerback in the preseason so the Homestead (Fla.) South Dade standout could shut down the opponent's top receiver each week. Mission accomplished -- so far.

"I haven't gotten a whole lot of action," Baldwin said. "Some teams have tried me though. Palmetto threw at me three times and that's the most action I had all year. They didn't get anything on their first two and then I picked the next one off. (Top junior) Alphonso Bryant from Homestead, they threw to him twice. I slapped one away and picked one. I ain't seen a single receiver this year that impressed me."

Darin Baldwin, 5-11 and 178 pounds, is certainly getting the job done as his team heads into the state playoffs this week. He's not sure whether he projects as a cornerback or safety at the college level.

"Some people try telling me I'm not fast enough to play corner," he said. "Ask the guys I've faced this year what they think. If they have anything to say, look at their stats against me. Some safeties are bigger, sure, but some guys ain't hittin anybody. I'll hit anything that moves. I ain't afraid."

That's the type of attitude you may hear from a state champion wrestler, something Baldwin did as a junior.

"I wrestled 160 last year," he said. "I'll do 189 this year. I'll be ready. I'm a lot stronger now than I was this time last year."

The talented defender is still getting recruited by a number of major programs. He talked about the latest.

"I'm going to Florida and NC State for sure," he said. "It'll be after the season, sometime in January. I also like Auburn but I don't know about that visit yet."

All three of those programs, according to Baldwin, have offered him a scholarship. The hometown Hurricanes have not yet done so.

"They haven't offered yet but, hey, I ain't worried too much about it," he said. "They called the other day and asked if I was still thinking about UM. I told him that I just wanna play ball and that's what it's all about."

If the Hurricanes were to come through with an offer, Baldwin would likely have a lot of interest.

"Oh yeah," he said. "I was watching their game against Virginia Tech. I thought they'd win a close game, like in overtime or something. They killed them. It probably would have been worse if Moss hadn't gotten hurt but I'm glad Charlie (Jones, a former teammate) got to play the way he did."

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