Ohio Star West is Looking East

After receiving an offer from Penn State recently, the safety talks about his interest in the Nittany Lions.

Darius West thinks he could sign with an out-of-state school next February to continue his academic and athletic pursuits. But like most things in the recruiting process, the Lima Central Catholic (Lima, Ohio) safety is not definitively decided on anything this early in the process.

He is sure, though, that his 11th offer, which he received two weeks ago from a program to the East, is special. Penn State offered West the last week of January.

“They offered me probably about two weeks ago. They came to my school and told my coach,” West said. “It means a lot because their program, with all the stuff they've been through, came back. They also have a great coach that got a lot of offers from NFL teams, but he stayed. That means something to me, because it means he's loyal to the program and is going to ride it out with Penn State.”

West grabbed five interceptions in Lima Central Catholic's 11-2 season and had forced fumbles to his defensive ledger. The junior played in all three facets of the game for the Thunderbirds, logging 25 catches for 591 yards and eight touchdowns, and nine kick-off returns for 289 yards. Most schools are looking at the 6-foot, 183-pound prospect as a safety, though.

“I think I'm real smart on the field, and always know where I need to be at all times and where my players need to be, too,” West said. “I think I'm a leader on the field, because it's always been that way. My teammates listen to me, and know that I'm only trying to push them and make them better. That's why I love playing safety. That, and you get to make hits and plays, too.”

Penn State wide receivers coach Stan Hixon is leading the recruitment of West, as Penn State works to establish its roots in Ohio.

“He's real nice and real cool, and when I called him, he told me a lot of stuff I needed to know and was straightforward and always gave me good answers,” West said. “I asked him about when they can compete for championships again, because I'd love to play for conference and national championships. He also was very knowledgeable about the academics and tutors and stuff like that. I liked that he was very straightforward and honest.”

A few camps and spring practices are on the safety's agenda for the spring and summer, though he has yet to peg down exactly where (and when) he'll visit. He is acutely aware of what it takes to make it to the next level, though, and that will be his focus as spring is rapidly approaching and summer workouts are right around the corner.

“My goal is to go hard every day I can and compete,” West said. “There are no days off in college, so I have to get used to working hard, even when I'm sick or stuff like that. I always have to work hard.”

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