|This story originally published on SuperPrep.com|
“I grew up a fan of Tennessee for family reasons. My grandfather, Darris McCord played for the Vols and he went on to have a 13 year career with the Detroit Lions.
“Michigan and Michigan State are my home-state schools. Michigan is more of a hometown school for me because it’s closer. USC is a school that has been very successful lately.
“I was supposed to get in touch with Coach Ruel from USC last night to find out if I was going to get a scholarship offer. When I called, I didn’t get an answer. The fact that Coach Ruel didn’t answer or get back to me doesn’t have an effect on how I feel about USC but it has helped in my decision making process.
“Arizona State, Nebraska and Ohio State would be my other favorites. I wouldn’t say I have a leader right now but Michigan and Tennessee are up there with USC.”
Sawtelle will be a three-year varsity starter for Brother Rice in 2006. He has played right tackle the past two seasons but could play left tackle next season. Darris also plays defensive tackle for Rice on goal line situations.
Does the Sawtelle family have a school preference for Darris?
“My grandfather obviously wants me to go to Tennessee but he doesn’t push it on me.” Sawtelle explained. “The only school my grandfather has forbid me from looking at is Alabama. He doesn’t like them a whole lot.
“The perfect school for my parents would be a school that was across the street from my house. I don’t think my parents want me to go to far from home but if I ended up at a USC, they would still support my decision.
“A lot of doors have opened up for me. I have to take a look at all my opportunities.”
Has Sawtelle thought about a time-frame for making his college decision?
“I’m looking to give an early commitment.” Sawtelle said. “All this college stuff is flattering and great but you have to remember that I still have got to play another season for Brother Rice.
“I’ve got teammates and coaches that are counting on me and I don’t want any distractions. I just feel really blessed with all this. It’s been my goal since I was little to play football in front of thousands of fans and it’s a dream come true.”
We asked Darris if he could touch on the strengths of his game.
“I’ve been told that I’m aggressive.” Sawtelle said. “I’ve been told that I like to hit people and put them on the ground. I’ve been blessed with good coaching my entire life.
“I don’t want to sound cocky but I’ve heard that I’m polished and I believe that I am. I work really hard and study game films. I pick things up quickly. I was just over at Michigan watching film with Coach (Andy) Moeller and I left there feeling like I can pick up Michigan’s offense real quick.”
Sawtelle told Scout.com that he hasn’t had the chance to attend many junior days because he’s been concentrating on his academics.
Darris Sawtelle has been invited to participate in the Scout.com All-American Combine with his teammate, Chris Colasanti, on April 22nd in Iowa City.