With two seniors graduating, the Bulls are looking to reload at linebacker this class. One player who sits a top the list is Homestead standout Darrin Kitchens who exploded during his senior year playing both linebacker and defensive end.
Kitchens finished the season leading Dade County with 19 sacks, to go along with his 75 tackles. His regular season is over but Kitchens has one more game to play.
"Right now I'm just getting ready for the Dade All-Star game on the 21st," said Kitchens. "I'll be paying both defensive end and outside linebacker.
At 6-3, 205 pounds and possessing 4.4 speed, Kitchens is a unique and versatile prospect that has played a little of everything including DE, OLB, RB, and TE for Homestead.
"It doesn't matter where I play," said Kitchens. ‘I'm probably more comfortable at defensive end right now, but I'll play wherever they want me."
Earlier in the year Kitchen was a bit under the radar, but after his monster season schools have taken notice.
"Yeah a lot of schools have been calling and stopping by," said Kitchen. "The schools talking the most are Syracuse, Florida, South Florida, and Colorado State."
Kitchens claims offers from Florida, Florida State, USF, Syracuse, Michigan, Nebraska, Wake Forest, Maryland, Central Florida, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, and Marshall, but said three schools sit at the top.
"Florida, Syracuse, and South Florida are the main three I'm looking at," said Kitchens.
When the contacted period opened on Nov. 29th, Kitchens received visits from numerous coaches including his favorites.
"My three top schools, UF, USF, and Syracuse all came by, so did CSU, and Western Michigan," said Kitchens. "Alabama said they were interested and were going to come by, but I never saw them."
He received an in-home visit by Florida's Vance Bedford, but also speaks with Urban Meyer, who offered him as a linebacker on Sunday.
On Monday he received a visit at his school by USF coaches Larry Scott, and Bulls Head Coach Jim Leavitt.
"It was a great visit, and it was nice to meet the head coach," said Kitchens. "He said how impressed he was with how I presented myself and how I looked on film. He seems like a nice guy. He said he's hard on his players but does it out of love."
"Coach Scott is a great person, with a great personality and a great guy to talk to," said Kitchens. "He's been recruiting me hard the entire time and told me I'm a top priority."
Kitchen took his first official visit to Syracuse last weekend, saying the visit went great and has visits scheduled for Michigan on Jan. 8th, USF on Jan. 22nd, and most likely will set a visit with Florida also.
He also mentioned that he's already been USF during his junior year when he came with his school for the Classic.
"We took a tour of the campus and it was nice, real big and pretty campus, said Kitchens. "I'm looking forward to going back and learning more."
Kitchen said that all the schools are talking to him about playing linebacker, and he has a few things he's looking for in making his decision.
"I'm looking at playing time and when I'll be able to start playing. What type of players they have on the team that I'll be surrounded by. Also the schemes they run, and the coaches they got. I also want to know what types of people go to the school, professors and students, and the overall environment."
Playing time is one of the main factors in making his choice and Kitchens said he's aware of his top schools depth charts.
"Syracuse is looking for somebody right away, so I have a real good chance of playing right away. Florida is thinning out at the linebacker spot, and I have a good chance of playing if not my freshman year than my sophomore year. With South Florida losing two players, I basically could start right away."
In the classroom Kitchen has a 3.03 GPA, and got an 870 on his SAT, and a 21 on his ACT, and is fully qualified.
He thinks he went a little under the radar due to being hurt his junior year and didn't start playing defense until the end of the year, but all that's changed now.
"The whole recruiting thing is exciting, but there's some pressure, and at times it's a bit overwhelming trying to decide, but overall I'm just happy being are showing interest in me."
The Homestead standout has mentioned who his top three are, but said none have an edge over the others. "No, not right now they don't," said Kitchens. "They're all right there."
However a decision could be on the horizon for the coveted linebacker.
"I may make a decision sometime around Christmas or before we get back from break," said Kitchens. "If I do I'll still keep my eyes open when I go on my visits."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we follow Kitchens recruitment and the rest of the 2010 recruiting class.
Bulls in Top 3 for Homestead Standout LB
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