In a lot of ways, running back Darnell Laws is far from a big-time recruit. He currently owns only one scholarship offer – from Akron, no less – and he has attended but a pair of camps, at UConn and Temple.But Laws is no slouch.
In just 59 carries as a junior St. Augustine Prep in Richland, N.J., Laws scampered for 519 yards – 8.8 per carry – and took nine rushes to the house. A sprained knee in Week 7 plagued his season, but that wasn't enough to prevent him from drawing the attention of several schools, including Iowa and Boston College, which have both been in contact with Laws.
Northwestern is another Big Ten apparently interested in Laws, ranked No. 50 by Scout among 2010 backs. According to Laws, the Wildcats sent him a letter about a month ago inviting him to Evanston this summer.
(As with Iowa, he simply couldn't make it. "It's a bit of a far trip," he said.
But even if Laws only has one offer at the moment, he trusts that more will come eventually."I don't really pay too much attention to the ratings and stuff," Laws told Purple Reign. "I know they mean a lot to some people, people look at them, but it's all about what the coaches see. The offers will come. I will have offers by the end of the senior season."
Indeed, it is a bit odd that Laws' options are so finite. While you can argue the exactitude of rating systems like Scout's, there are plenty of backs who rank comparably to Laws (or worse) to have already nabbed big-time offers.
For example, No. 57 Stephen Hopkins of Texas is committed to Michigan; California's Anthony Brown – ranked 75th – has offers from USC and Nebraska; No. 51 Deantre Lewis, also from California, committed to Arizona State over Oregon and Oregon State, among others.
So Laws is one of the highest-rated backs in the nation to have so few offers. Just one offer, in fact. But again, he thinks that will change soon enough.
"I want to have a great senior season," Laws said, "just run away from the competition. I want to make sure that my tape is good, that coaches know I'm head and shoulders above everyone else."
The dearth of offers has Laws taking a patient approach.
"I'm just going to wait until next season starts to see who else comes along. I won't rush into anything. I'm going to make sure whatever I choose is the right school for me."Laws doesn't know too much about Northwestern, which has shown interest if not made an offer. But he would definitely entertain the thought should the Cats come knocking.
"I've seen them play on TV a couple times," Laws said of NU. "I don't know too much about the school, but I would be open to anyone who offers me. I won't close any doors. I want to see who offers and see where I'll be happy for the next four year."
At the moment, NU has one running back already committed for 2010: Shontrelle Johnson of Florida, who is ranked as the 89th running back prospect by Scout.