Recruitment heats up for Darkins

LINEBACKER WILL DARKINS, as evidenced by his shuttle time at a combine in Eugene this offseason, is a fast linebacker who can cover a lot of ground. The 6-2, 220-pounder will be in Corvallis later this week to take part in the Beavs' Preview Day. Immediately thereafter, he'll head to another Pac-10 school's Preview Day, where it appears there stands a good chance his offer list will grow by one.

Oregon State, Oregon and Washington sit atop Darkins' list of leaders. OSU has offered while the Ducks and Huskies have not. That could change on Saturday.

"On July 28 and 29, I'm going to Oregon State and Oregon for their Preview Days," said Darkins. "I was told by the Oregon coaches the people that are going there are either offered already or are going to be offered."

Portland State and Sand Diego State have also offered the 'backer. Darkins, who set the top mark in the shuttle at the Eugene combine with a 3.94, weighed in with his thoughts on his top three.

"Oregon State, I just feel the most at home because I've been there so much because of my brother," said Darkins. "I've been to a lot of games. I just feel really good about all of the coaches and all the staff.

"Oregon, I like because of the academic programs and kinds of things they have there -- and I like Eugene a lot and I also like the team. I like the Oregon program, and I'd like to play for a team that's in the Top 25.

"Washington, you get the chance to live in Seattle which is really awesome. I also like the head coach, Tyrone Willingham who is really awesome, too. I met him while I was at camp at Washington."

Not surprisingly, the trio is recruiting the hardest.

"Oregon State, I've called them and been talking to a good deal on the phone, Washington I've been trying to call and Oregon I've been getting a lot of letters," said Darkins.

Communicating with college coaches this time of year can be difficult. The month of July is typically the optimal, and sometimes only, time for a college coach to get out of the office. Some still spend their time coaching football, helping to coach up players at clinics in far away places like Japan.

"The linebackers coach at Washington when I went to their camp told me, 'You definitely stood out and I want to talk to you soon' but he's been in Japan for a little while," said Darkins. "I called his office recently and the guy told me he's going to be there for a few more days."

It will bear watching if Darkins receives an invite to Washington's Preview Day, on August 5, after he's able to get back in contact with the Husky staff.

Darkins said he's leaning against making an early call before the season, and would prefer to put recruiting on the back burner and focus on his senior season at Lake Oswego.

"At this point, I'm probably not going to commit early to anyone," said Darkins. "I also don't think I'm going to commit during the season but probably near the beginning of December."

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.

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

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