The high school football season got off to a bit of a slow start for Woodland Hills (PA) star Darrin Walls. A preseason injury caused the four-star corner prospect to see only limited action in his squad's 28-12 victory. "I didn't play too much last week because I bruised my shoulder during camp," Walls said. "I didn't play as much as I would have normally, but I'll be back this week."
Game two on Walls' schedule marks the start of an extremely busy next couple of weeks. After competing in today's contest, he will head off on his first official visit to Pittsburgh. On the following weekend he will head to Michigan for the Wolverines' clash with the Fighting Irish, then down to Gainesville in two weeks to visit Florida, and finally to South Bend the on October 15th when the Irish host USC.
A few months back Walls had expressed interest in making a silent/soft commitment to one of the aforementioned schools prior to taking his trips. The possibility of injury had the talented prospect thinking a great deal about the security that a verbal would bring. In the subsequent weeks, though, he began to worry more about making a hasty decision. " I decided not to," Walls said of making an early commitment. "I'm still looking. I'm not going to rush it. I'm going to just wait."
Had Walls followed through with his plan, the most likely candidates for his pledge would probably have been Notre Dame and Michigan. Those schools have long been mentioned as the frontrunners in his recruitment. However, with the delay comes the news that his top two now have company. "Pitt and Florida have both moved up, but I'd say Pitt, Notre Dame, and Michigan are my top three," Walls said. "Pitt has gone up a long way."
Under new coach Dave Wannstedt, the hometown Panthers have made Western Pennsylvania a huge priority. Walls has certainly taken notice. In addition, he sees the same opportunity for immediate playing time there that he does at Notre Dame and Michigan. "Now that I've seen a lot of Pennsylvania guys going there, I'm looking at them more," Walls explained. "I guess they really want me to come in now too. One of the players that committed there is one of my teammates, so he tries to get me to come there. They've got a couple of seniors graduating, one of which is starting. There would be openings to come in and play early if I compete well enough. Their depth chart isn't too full at the corner."
With no clear cut favorite at this point, Walls will use the visits to help separate the schools on his list. That said, he insists that a decision will not be reached until he takes all of his trips. "I've been to all of the schools except Florida, so basically I'm going to be looking at the game day experience," Walls said regarding what he'll be looking for on his officials. "Right now I really don't know when I'll choose a school. I'll take all of my officials and then decide. It will come well before signing day though."
GoBlueWolverine will catch up with Walls in the coming weeks.