Gem State 'backer eyes Beavs

AMONG THE RECENT UNOFFICIAL VISITORS this spring to Oregon State was a Gem State linebacker who packs a wallop. He says the Beavs' interest has grown of late, and a return trip was set in motion for the Beavers' summer youth camp in June for the 6-1, 230-pounder with the powerlifting background and a work ethic his prep coach says is second to none.

On an unofficial to Oregon State recently, Darren Markle (6-1, 230) gave the Beavers high marks.

"We stayed there the whole day and talked to their coaches, toured the facilities. I really liked their stadium. Their linebacker coach (Greg Newhouse), he's like me. He plays a defense I like, they pretty much get to fly around and tackle the guy with the ball. Coach Newhouse, he watched some film with me and stuff and that was pretty nice," said Markle.

MARKLE ALSO HAD the chance to talk with head man Mike Riley.

"He said he wanted to see me down for their one day camp the first part of June. They said they wanted to just see me one day at that and if they liked what they saw I might get a scholarship offer," said Markle.

Markle, out of Meridian, Idaho, said the Beavs and Cougs are the two schools he's been in contact with the most these days.

"Washington State (offer) still obviously a lot, and then Oregon State I've been talking to a lot," said Markle.

Markle does not appear to be in a hurry to make a verbal commitment. He holds offers from Washington State and Idaho State and has plans for "six or seven" summer camps including OSU, WSU, UO, BYU, USC and BSU.

LINEBACKER ISN'T AS conducive to a college true freshman being ready to play right away as is, say, cornerback. But from just a physical standpoint, Markle has a powerlifting background, and is a good ways along that physical maturity curve.

"He's extremely strong and physical, those are a couple of his real great attributes," said Mountain View head man Judd Benedick. "I don't think I've ever met anybody who works as hard as he does outside of practice. He wants to be great."

Markle said WSU stood out the most on his tour of schools this spring, in part because of the opportunities that will exist in the linebacking corps after this season with three seniors-to-be on top of the depth chart.

"I'd have to say Washington State. Just because I have a chance of starting as a freshman and in the Pac-10 playing linebacker, and to do that especially if I want to go pro after college because the more experience you get in college, the better," said Markle.

Markle traveled this spring to Washington State, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Oregon and Boise State. He'll be at a NIKE camp in Palo Alto next weekend.

"I'm ready and prepared...I'm going to put on a good showing there," said Markle.

At the junior day event at Oregon this spring, Markle has this to say about the Ducks' facilities.

"Their facilities are just way over the top, amazingly good," said Markle.

Darren Markle profile and video

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