"It means a lot," said Durkin of his most recent offer. "It shows that they believe in me, and if I end up there, they believe I can do good things for them. It means a lot to pick up that offer."
With the Northwestern offer on the table, Durkin has a favorite identified already.
"[Northwestern is] at the top of my list," Durkin said. "I really like them I like what they're about—the football program, the staff. I'm just really excited about that offer.
"They're in the top three. I really don't have another two. At the end of it all, when I have to pick a top three, Northwestern is definitely going to be in it."
An all-around talent with size and abilities, many schools are recruiting Durkin under the ‘Athlete' label—seeing his potential as a tight end or linebacker. Northwestern has informed him he'll be a quarterback, and the coaches believe he'll be a perfect fit.
"They think I fit their offense very well, and they think they can do good things for me," said Durkin.
Durkin's first experience in Evanston came on the weekend of Northwestern's win over in-state rival Illinois. On the eve of game day, he sat in with NU offensive coordinator Mick McCall's meeting with quarterback Kain Colter. Then, on Saturday, he split time with the team and in the Ryan Field bleachers watching the Wildcats' win over the Fighting Illini.
"It was a lot of fun," he recalled of the visit. "The game day atmosphere was incredible."
Durkin will return to Northwestern's campus on the weekend of April 4, during the Wildcats' spring practice. He hopes to meet with the coaching staff plus academic advisors, and also spend more time with the players.
"I just want to get up there and build relationships with everybody," he said. "We've got good relationships started, but j just want to build them even more and see what they're like."
While Durkin hopes not to rush his decision, he is targeting the summer for his verbal commitment. Northwestern has the early lead over the pack.