Aggies in Durham's short list of favorites

After an impressive trip to this weekend's junior day event in College Station, A&M impresses Austin Westlake (TX) linebacker David Durham. Aggie Websider visits with Durham about his trip and finds out what the junior-to-be is looking for in a college.

After an impressive 2007 season as a defensive end and linebacker, Austin Westlake's David Durham is moving to linebacker this season, which has colleges, like Texas A&M, interested in the 6-3, 225 pound junior-to-be.

Durham made it up for this weekend's junior day event in College Station and said the visit has put the Aggies in his list of top three schools.

"I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with the coaches, especially Coach (Tim) Cassidy and Coach (Joe) Kines, who really made an impression on me. Coach Kines really seemed like a coach I could play for. He's just a good guy and he's confident that he can win with the defense that he's running. I felt like he'd take care of me as a player and a person off the field."

In terms of off the field priorities, Durham said that academics are important to him and that he and his father were both extremely impressed by the academic center available to athletes at the Bright Complex.

"They really stressed academics and told us the main reason you go to college is to get a degree, and that's really important to me," he said. "Plus when you graduate from A&M you're very well connected, especially in Texas."

On the field, Durham says his biggest strength is his ability to always get to the ball.

"Everyone's going to get blocked, but I'm not going to stay blocked," Durham said. "I use my hands well and I fight to get off the block and get to the ball. That's what's fun about it is the fight to get to the ball. I also have good instincts and I'm never going to stop going hard, I'm never going to take a play of. I lead by example and make as many tackles as I can get. Intensity is probably the word to use to describe me as a player."

Durham said that the thing he would like to improve the most this fall is his pass coverage, which he's already gotten a head start on at camps this summer.

"The No. 1 thing I've improved on this summer is my coverage because at the camps that's all we can do, we can't wear pads," he said. "This year I'm going to try to get more interceptions and tipped balls. I feel a 100 percent more confident in that area after this summer."

Durham also said that Westlake teammate and A&M commit Ryan Swope is already working on him to join him at A&M.

"With Ryan going over there, he has a better relationship with all these coaches and he speaks very highly of all of them and that is a plus for A&M because I trust what Ryan says," Durham said. "Plus Westlake has a tradition of sending good players to A&M."

Durham said that after this weekend's trip to College Station, he is done thinking about recruiting and is focused on his upcoming junior season, but he did say the things that are most important to him in choosing a school—in this order—is a good coaching staff, a place where he can be an impact player on defense, a school with strong tradition, strong academics and a fun atmosphere for student life.

Durham's Top Three (alphabetical order)
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Texas A&M
*Alabama and Oklahoma round out his top five, but are below the other three right now

David Durham's Stats
height: 6-3
weight: 225
40-time: 4.7
Shuttle: 4.28
bench press: 305, maybe 315 now
squat: 385, going for 400 pretty soon




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