The three-star defensive end prospect from Solon, Ohio, is preparing for his senior season while also concentrating on making his college decision. With the aid of his mother and high school coach, Baldwin has been up front with all the schools recruiting him.
"He would like to major in engineering, of course he would like to play at the highest level possible and things like the academic support and the success of players there after they've graduated," Solon head coach Jim McQuaide told BuckeyeSports.com. "Those are all things we mapped out, and then for anyone who came in I made available to them what Darryl was looking for and then they had an opportunity to present that information. Then he decided with his mom what schools he would want to visit further."
That process began in April, during Baldwin's spring break. At that point, the 6-6, 245-pound Baldwin took unofficial visits to his four top schools in no particular order: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame.
Up next was an evaluation period that culminated at the end of May and saw a number of coaches make the trek to Solon to inquire about Baldwin. With that completed, the nation's No. 46 defensive end found himself adding another school to the list.
"When everyone came into school, I told everybody what he was looking for and then we sat down again in May and decided – we had tons and tons of schools come in, and then we asked if he wanted to add any other schools to the mix," McQuaide said. "He decided that he wanted to add Penn State to the mix. Last week he went to Penn State. He's been to those five places."
In mid-May, Baldwin told Scout that he had the Buckeyes as the top school on his list. McQuaide said a litany of OSU coaches have been on hand to visit Solon at one point or another.
"(Cornerbacks) coach Taver Johnson is the recruiter for this area but (linebackers) coach Luke Fickell has been at our school, (head) coach (Jim) Tressel, (defensive line) coach Jim Heacock," McQuaide said. "Whenever they're allowed to come, they're here.
"Darryl has been there. He went to camp at Ohio State, so that's the only camp he's decided to go to. He was at their senior camp. That's the only school that he decided he wanted to camp at. He's not going to camp anywhere else as of right now."
In addition, McQuaide pointed to the fact that former Buckeye Drew Carter also hails from Solon, adding that such an example makes Baldwin more comfortable with the Buckeyes.
Solon starts preparing for the 2009 season with the start of camp scheduled for July 20th. The plan is for Baldwin to select a school before the first whistle blows.
"Now he's going to take a little time here," McQuaide said. "We really start July 20th with instruction and the things that we're doing with our team and he's planning to make a decision before that."
If things do not quite go according to plan, however, the coach said such a situation would not present a problem.
"He might say on July 19th that he's not ready, and that's OK too," he said. "Wherever it goes on his timetable, we can handle it and deal with it. He's one of us. I'm very happy and proud of the diligence he has taken in investigating. I think he's done a good job with that and giving everyone a fair chance to state their case. That's been the most impressive part of this to me."
In addition to his natural defensive end position, Baldwin has lined up at tight end for Solon as well. As a result, some teams are recruiting him to play either of the two positions.
The Buckeyes view him exclusively as an end – the position Baldwin prefers, McQuaide said.
This summer, McQuaide said Baldwin is primarily focused on his mental approach to the game. With offers from some of the top schools in the country, both coach and player realize that every player going against Baldwin will be looking to prove himself against the national recruit.
In addition, McQuaide praised the amount of work Baldwin has put forth in the weight room during the past year.
"He has talent," McQuaide said. "Everybody knows that. It's just reminding that talent to have a better year this year than last year."