VERBAL COMMIT: Beavs land in-state 'backer

IN THE WAKE of the 33-31 win over USC, Oregon State has landed a top linebacker target. Will Darkins (6-2, 200) out of Lake Oswego, offered a scholarship this spring by Oregon State, verbally committed on Tuesday, two days after taking an unofficial visit to OSU. The win over Southern Cal played a role, said Darkins, reinforcing to him the Beaver program was "on the up."

"I committed to Oregon State," said Darkins. "The week of the USC game I was thinking of committing...and I was kind of ready."

Darkins called coach Mike Riley to let him know he was coming to Corvallis.

"I told him I had taken the weekend to think about it, I had talked to my family, (Lake Oswego) coach (Steve) Coury and everyone else, and that I'd come to the decision that I really want to go to Oregon State," said Darkins. "He was very excited."

Darkins said his decision was based on a number of factors, with the win over Southern Cal providing some key evidence of what he was looking for in a school.

"I went to the USC game and it really reinforced it because I saw a team that was on the up and going places. I want to be a part of that. And I was real comfortable there, I've been there a million times because of my brother. It just seemed all around, the best choice."

Will is the brother of Andy Darkins, who started six games for Oregon State in 2005, finishing with 35 tackles, including 5.5 for loss before a torn biceps muscle ended his playing career.

Darkins chose Oregon State over interest from Oregon, Washington, San Jose State (offer), and Portland State (offer).

DARKINS WILL BE lining up at linebacker and running back this Friday in the regular season finale against rival Lakeridge. Lake Oswego would earn a first round bye in the playoffs with a win.

As a junior, Darkins was first team all-Three Rivers League second team all-state at linebacker. On offense he carried the ball to the tune of 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns, earning first team all-league honors and third team all-state honors.

He is described on defense by Lake Oswego's Coury as "a madman."

Darkins becomes the eighth known verbal commitment in the 2007 Beaver class, joining Carl Sommer, Kevin Frahm, Jake Gelakoska, Michael Cole, Ahmed Mokhtar, Colby Prince and Darrell Catchings.

Will Darkins profile

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