Decision Pending for Darmstatter

After a season in which they went 4-6 it would seem odd to some that the Barnegat (NJ) Bengals are approaching the 2009 schedule with such an enthusiastic fervor. The unusually high expectations seem perhaps even more out of place when considering that the varsity football program at the Ocean County school only began in 2006.

Still, there is very much a positive outlook heading into Thursday night's season opener against Holmdel in no small part to senior Jarrett Darmstatter.

The 6-4 244-pound two-way star is a standout linebacker but has earned his stripes and statewide recognition as a tight end. After a junior season that saw him haul in 20 receptions for 263 yards and three touchdowns thanks to his toughness catching the ball over the middle, Darmstatter saw the offers come rolling in, racking up a dozen scholarship offers from programs all over the eastern half of the country. While he is hesitant to name a leader at this point in the process, he has stated that Rutgers, Boston College, Central Florida and Purdue have been the schools recruiting him the hardest.

While the three-star recruit has already made visits to Purdue, Boston College, Syracuse and is planning one to Central Florida – Darmstatter has made a couple of trips north already to get a closer look at what life is like for the Scarlett Knights.

"I've been there to visit twice and I went to one of their games so far this year," says Darmstatter. "I've also talked with [Tight End] Coach Susan and Coach Schiano."

The standout recruit says he got along well with the coaching staff and was impressed with the facilities in Piscataway – factors he said that were important to him in his search for a school. He also said that academics would play a significant role in his ultimate decision, if not the most important role.

The hope for Darmstatter is that he will be able to select a school by October if not before then. For the time being though, he is anticipating what has the potential to be a special season for the Bengals. The senior spent the offseason working to improve his speed with the hopes of making himself even more of a pass catching threat. Certainly junior quarterback Nick San Giacomo (also a Division I prospect) has to be excited about the possibilities that could become reality with his highly sought after teammate looking for open spots in the middle of the gridiron. Darmstatter for his part has been pleased with what he has seen in team practices leading up to opening week for Barnegat.

"Things are looking pretty good right now; we're starting to click in practices," he says.

The tight end's work as a linebacker will be almost important to his team this year as his production as a blocker and receiver. As a junior, Darmstatter recorded 75 tackles and a pair of sacks in emerging as one of the defensive leaders thanks to his length and quickness. Don't expect to see him lining up on that side of the ball once he steps foot on the field for his first college game though. The Bengals are fine with that, just as long as he continues to produce at both spots for the remainder of at least this year.

Darmstatter reports a 3.3 core GPA and a 930 two-part SAT.

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