Derek has an incredible combination of size (6'6", 340 pounds), speed (5.0 40-yard dash), strength (460 pound bench press) and ability. He plays OT and DT for North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, NC. He wants to play offense in college and nearly 70 schools would love him to do just that for them.
"Offense is a whole lot easier than defense I think," he said. "I like protecting my RB and QB. I like pass blocking. I love run blocking. I love driving somebody's head into the ground."
Derek estimates that he has around 68 offers. Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Florida are his top teams right now. He denies favoring any one team over the other.
He will be taking an official visit to Ohio State this coming weekend. He also has official visits scheduled to Tennessee (December 7) and Georgia (early November). He's undecided as to where to take his last 2 official visits. He takes unofficial visits to schools to see whether or not he's interested in visiting the school officially. Some of the schools he has already visited unofficially are Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio State, NC, Clemson, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, NC State, Virginia, ND, Maryland and ECU.
Although Penn State was not one of the teams listed in his top 6, Derek is still seriously interested in the Nittany Lions.
"Yeah, they're in my top ten." Derek said emphatically. "I like their coach, of course, Joe Paterno. I like how they run their offense. I like certain techniques they use with the left and right tackles."
He has not yet been to Penn State but would like to visit. Jay Paterno is recruiting Derek for Penn State.
"I would like to take an unofficial visit there to see what it's like," he said. "I'm really going to try to get up there. If I don't go up there, there's a good reason for it. I go on unofficial visits every Friday night. After the game, I go home, get ready and leave."
His favorite team growing up was Notre Dame, which may factor into his decision.
He attended camps at Tennesse and Georgia this summer. He also attended a Nike Camp at Georgia Tech.
He's looking for a stable coaching staff, good educational program for his field, business and fashion.
His team is currently 4-1. Derek is averaging 15 pancake blocks a game. He had 111 pancake blocks last year during the regular season. He added another 12 in the playoff game.