OSU looks to keep it in the family w/ Darkins

COACH MIKE RILEY looks for the linebackers who can flat out run. Besides the speed benefits on defense, linebackers make up the heart and soul of Oregon State special teams. The Beavs landed such a player in Andy Darkins in 2004 and are again eyeing Lake Oswego High for the class of 2007. Namely, Andy's brother -- Will Darkins.

Darkins was offered by the Beavs earlier this spring. Other schools showing the 6-1, 220-pounder early recruiting love include Oregon, Washington, Cal and San Diego State.

"Oregon State, who has given me a full ride offer, Washington, Oregon and Cal are who I'm hearing the most from," said Darkins. "And just (Tuesday) the head coach of Portland State called and offered a scholarship."

HAVING BROTHER ANDY in Corvallis won't be the deciding factor for Will, with the younger Darkins saying it will be more about where he feels most comfortable.

"I've been down to Oregon State a million times to visit Andy and I feel really comfortable down there, but Andy's supportive of wherever I choose to go," said Darkins. "I definitely look at Oregon State very highly. And I also look at Oregon and Washington very highly, too."

Those three -- OSU, UO, and UW -- sit atop Darkins leaders' list. He'll be in Eugene June 10 for a combine and may attend either the OSU or Oregon summer youth camp.

AS A JUNIOR, Darkins was first team all-Three Rivers League at both linebacker and running back, and also captured second team all-state linebacker honors. Prep coach Steve Coury says Darkins plays defense like a "madman," and he didn't do too badly on offense either, rushing for 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns.

A recent 40 time for Darkins is a 4.58 but he considers his quickness in getting to the ballcarrier to be the bigger asset.

"I feel like I play at a fast, quick level," said Darkins. "For what I might lack in height for a linebacker, I make up in speed. I just play as fast as I possibly can. So far, it's been working."

Will Darkins profile

  • Oregon State also signed highly sought recruit Gabe Miller out of Lake Oswego this past February. A versatile player who could line up at Tight end, h-back or linebacker for the Beavs, Miller is currently rehabbing from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury suffered in April with a prognosis of six to nine months of rehab time.

  • Andy Darkins started six games for Oregon State in 2005, finishing with 35 tackles, including 5.5 for loss. He missed spring practice as he rehabilitates from bicep surgery. If healthy in time for fall camp, he'll compete for the starting job at middle linebacker.

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