Darren Myles Jr. and his father, who is also his head football coach at Carver High in Atlanta, have hit the road the past week, checking out three schools that have already offered a scholarship, Alabama, Central Florida and Florida.
With a moment to relax in the car after leaving Gainesville on Sunday, the younger Myles, a Scout.com top-300 safety prospect, was sleeping when his father's cell phone rang. It was Notre Dame linebackers coach Jon Tenuta.
"He basically called to say he was impressed with what he's seen of Darren playing safety on film," the older Myles said. The two are visiting Tennessee, another program that has offered this afternoon. "He's coached safeties like Travares Tillman while he was at Georgia Tech. He did a great job with Georgia Tech's defense the years he was there.
"He said he realized they are coming in kind of late in the recruiting game," Myles continued. His son has 18 scholarship offers. "He said that he saw Darren play last year when he was at Georgia Tech, and had the opportunity to show the film to the defensive backs coach, and they showed it to (head) coach (Charlie) Weis, and he said lets go ahead and send an offer to him."
This morning at 11:30 a.m., Myles was scheduled to call Weis and officially receive that offer.
"I know about their football program, but I haven't really looked into them," Myles said, adding that he is a fan of every school at this point in the process.
His father, a former Purdue running back, knows quite a bit about the Irish, and is excited about the latest offer.
"Darren knows a little about Notre Dame in terms of football tradition after watching things like the movie Rudy. I experienced it first hand playing against Tim Brown, Ricky Watters, Rocket Ismail and those guys."
In helping Carver to an 11-1 record and trip to the third round of the state playoffs, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Myles had 60 tackles, 20 pass breakups, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and five sacks. He used his 4.49 speed to catch 30 passes for 300 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 25 carries for 220 yards and eight more scores, and a 30-yard touchdown pass.
"ESPN described him as an athletic superman," Myles stated.
"He's a hard working disciplined intelligent player, who is also athletic. You're going to get a player that's used to regimentation and structure.
"He's good against the run. In the pass, he is good in three-deep coverage, half coverage and man coverage. When he's at receiver, he's not afraid to catch the ball across the middle. Has soft hands and the speed to run away from defenders."
Myles also holds offers from the likes of Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, West Virginia and Purdue. The two Myles men were supposed to visit West Lafayette this spring, but have run out of gas.
"These visits are taking more of a toll then expected," Myles said. "It is the kid's spring break. We're going to Tennessee today to meet with coach (Phil) Fulmer, sit in on a meeting and watch practice for an hour and call it a week.
"We'll go out again in the summer time and hit a couple more schools. The ones we pretty much can't hit, that make the list, he'll visit them officially.
"I'm trying to get to Purdue because that's where I graduated from, and hit Kentucky on the way back. The stuff in the southeast was more time consuming than we thought."
Myles has never been to Purdue or Notre Dame. His father said if they come to Indiana, they'd check out the Irish campus as well.
"Most definitely," he stated. "South Bend isn't that far away. We have to hit Notre Dame if we come into Indiana. That's a must see spot. There is a lot of tradition there and a lot of history there. You have to at least set foot on the campus to see what they offer to evaluate what's being extended to you in terms of academics and athletics."
Myles has a 3.3 GPA and originally planned to verbally commit somewhere before his senior season. Now, that is not likely.
"Got be somewhere I feel at home," he said of what he is looking for in a school. "If I can't play football no more, a place I can still graduate from. Where I feel I have family."