ND Is Getting Close to Offering Winston

Darius Winston thought the only scholarship offers he'd get, would come from Arkansas and Ole' Miss.

Oh how he was wrong.

Hailing from West Helena, Ark., the 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback grew up a Razorbacks fan, and a few of his cousins played football there back in the 1990s. So, Darius Winston made the easy decision, verbally committing to Arkansas early last month. The only other offer at the time was from Ole Miss.

A lot has changed for Winston in a month, and his pledge to Arkansas isn't nearly as solid.

Michigan, LSU, Nebraska, Miami, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Memphis, Oklahoma and Arkansas State have all offered a full-ride to Winston, who has 4.3 second speed in the 40-yard dash.. Notre Dame could be the next program to join the race, and several other schools are showing interest.

"Arkansas was my favorite school, and that's where I always wanted to go," Winston said. "That's why it was so easy to commit. But I didn't think I'd get these opportunities. The only thing I can say is my eyes are open.

"I'm going to take a look at every school and every opportunity. I'm going to listen to what everyone has to say. It's a whole year, anything can happen."

Winston learned that in a month's worth of offers.

A few days ago, Winston talked with Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown for the first time.

"He said he liked what he saw on film," Winston began. "He said I had playmaking ability they could use at Notre Dame. He said (head) coach (Charlie) Weis has the last word on my offer, and they want my transcript."

Winston, who has a 2.8 GPA, had 40 tackles and two interceptions this past fall. He said that Friday nights were kind of stale for him, as he was hardly challenged, with the other team's runs and passes going towards the opposite side of the field.

"It gets very boring," Winston stated. He also returned two punts for scores and had a 60-yard touchdown reception in spot duty on offense. "I play bump and run a lot. I love playing zone, but I don't like making it easy for the receiver. I like playing in their face."

Winston and Brown talked about that among other things in a lengthy conversation. Winston doesn't know when he'll speak with him next.

"He was telling me about the campus, telling me how it is, telling me about their endorsement deals," Winston explained. "He just let me know about the school and how big time they are, but I know a lot about Notre Dame. I know about the tradition and a lot of players went there. They have had a lot of Heisman winners."

Winston said that he wants to wait until May, the end of his current semester, before sending over a copy of his transcripts to Notre Dame. He'd also like to take a visit to the campus in the future.

Winston has only been to Ole' Miss and Arkansas. He plans on making it back to Arkansas soon, and possibly LSU's spring game. As far as a final decision, Winston knows he now has many more options then anticipated, and will take his time exploring them.

"I just want an opportunity to play," he said. "Starting doesn't really matter, I just want an opportunity."

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