|Position:||RB / CB|
|School:||Williamsport Area High School, Williamsport, PA|
Darrell (pronounced Da RELL) is an extremely talented athlete who has already received a great deal of attention from many Division I schools. Darrell started on both sides of the ball for Williamsport, playing running back on offense and corner back on defense. He was named 1st Team All-State as a running back this past year.
"A lot of schools are saying that he could play on both sides of the ball, but most everybody, including Darrell, are leaning towards him being a running back," Williamsport head coach Stephen Radocaj said.
"Darrell rushed for 2,547 yards and approximately 32 touchdowns. He averaged almost 11.5 yards per carry in 10 games. We were 8-3. He didn't play in one game."
Darrell reportedly runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. However, he is more than just a fast running back.
"Two years ago, I would've described him as a fast player," Coach Radocaj said. "He's turned into a back that can do whatever he has to do. If he needs to run hard inside, and can't make the move off the read, he'll run into people. He's become a real good north-south runner as well as having unbelievable acceleration on his cuts. I think that's where his game is."
Darrell's abilities have garnered him a lot of attention from schools across the country.
"Every day we get calls. He has one offer on paper (Iowa) and others pending. I've had calls from the west coast down to the southern part of the United States, almost everybody. I don't think we'll miss too many schools to tell you the truth."
Coach Radocaj did not need to put together a highlight tape of Darrell.
"You see his stats. Every game is a highlight, so I usually just send two games. We chose a couple of games, one where he caught a nice pass, played some solid defense and had some nice runs. I don't believe it's necessary to send a highlight video on him. Everybody can see he's a player right from the get-go. It's not a hard sell."
Blackman attended a junior day at Maryland with teammate Raymond Brooks. He has been unable to take any other visits this year because he's been so busy playing on the basketball team.
"I think he likes basketball a lot too. I think it's one of those situations where the sport is choosing the young man. He's an outstanding football player."
What level of interest has Penn State expressed in Darrell?
"The same as everybody else. I think that most schools are right now waiting for May (the May evaluation period). Most schools have tapes. I think a lot of these schools want to see him in person. They want to see the person, shake his hand and talk to him. I believe in May, we'll be a very busy school district.
"We have another player who also has an offer already and a lot of people are showing an interest in him."
That player is Raymond Brooks. The fullback and defensive end also has an offer from Iowa.
The two teammates are good friends and do talk about going to the same school.
"Off and on, but first of all, they're different style players. You have to make sure you get into a program that fits your style. That's going to be some of their homework and my homework. Secondly, they have to go to the school where they're going to be happy. I think it would be wonderful, and they know it would be wonderful if they both liked the same school and things worked out, but I think they're both very realistic in the fact that they know they have to fit in somewhere."
Darrell is currently concentrating on basketball.
"We have a playoff game this Saturday," Darrell said. "We just won the district championship. We'll be playing Downingtown, the team we lost to in the first round of the states (state championship playoffs) in football."
Darrell is a terrific basketball player as well, but he prefers playing football.
He already has one Division I scholarship offer from Iowa, and expects others soon.
"I'll probably be getting one from Maryland and Boston College. I talked to Maryland (when he attended their junior day). I think [Boston College] has been in touch with my coach and they said they might offer me and Raymond scholarships."
Darrell simply described the Maryland junior day as "good". He has been unable to attend any other junior days so far this year because he's been so busy playing basketball.
Penn State has been in touch with Darrell.
"Yeah, they've been sending me stuff in the mail."
NCAA regulations prohibit schools from calling juniors at this early stage.
Darrell would like to attend the April 21 Nike Camp at Penn State.
"Yeah, I'm trying to talk my mom into letting me go.
"I've been up [to Penn State] a couple of times for football games. I went to the Miami game last year. I went to Pittsburgh too. They invited me down when they played Virginia Tech."
Darrell does not have a favorite college team.
"I like the Eagles in the NFL. I just like to watch college football. I just like to watch any game that's on. I really don't have a favorite college football team.
"I'll probably take a few visits before I decide."
Darrell's fraternal twin brother, Dwayne Blackman, is a senior and will be playing football for Rhode Island.