Washington is on Markle's radar

One of the top linebackers in the entire northwest this year is Mountain View's (Meridian, Id.) man-in-the-middle Darren Markle. Dawgman.com caught up with the physical and strong defender recently and he talked about recruiting as well as the amazing strength he's been working on since he was a young boy.

"My dad was a power-lifter in college, so he's been helping me work out since I was eight," Markle said recently. "I'm not naturally strong, so I've had to work on it my whole life. I bench 385 and I power-cleaned 300 the other day and my squat is at 550, so it's something I've worked on quite a bit."

With those amazing strength numbers, it's no wonder he won his age class at the National Power Lifting Championships last year.

"Last year I won the championship for the 16/17 age class," Markle said. "I was hoping to be able to jump up and do it this year in the 18/19 class, but with all of the junior days and camps, I just wasn't going to have the time to make all the events, so I had to sit this year out."

Markle has had a very busy schedule this spring, taking in junior days at Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon, BYU and Boise State, while also making trips to Oregon State and Washington State for unofficial visits.

"Yeah, it's been hectic," Markle said with a chuckle. "It's been cool though. I'm really enjoying myself and getting to know the coaches and the different programs that are interested in me.

"I just want to find the right situation for me and to make the right choice, so I've got some more visits that I'm going to try and make this summer for sure."

One of the schools likely to get a visit will be the University of Washington.

"I'm planning on going over there," Markle said. "If not for their camp, I'm going to try and make it over there for a junior day or at least to sit down and meet with the coaches to see how interested they are in me.

"They've always been a school I've been interested in. They have a good young team and I get a lot of recruiting letters from them, but I haven't talked with them. I've sorta been playing phone tag with them because they can't call me right now, so if I don't reach them, I just have to keep calling."

So far the Cougars are Markle's only offer, but other schools have intimated that if he goes to camp and impresses them, he could walk away with an offer.

"I've been talking with Oregon State, Boise State and BYU a lot," Markle noted. "They all said they'd like to get me at camp and to see how I perform and if I do well, I will probably get an offer, so those are schools I want to try and at least make a day or two of their camps."

Markle played his junior season at 220 pounds, but he's since added 10 more pounds to his frame while still maintaining his 4.59 speed.

"I feel like my instincts and my strength are what give me an advantage," Markle said. "I can read plays pretty well and that helps me get better angles and to be in the right place at the right time and then when I get there, I really want to make the ball-carrier pay."

He finished the 2007 season with 107 tackles, six sacks, and five tackles-for-loss.

Markle said a timeline isn't really a factor at this point in making his decision.

"Basically, I want to get through the summer and take some unofficial visits and make sure I check out all the schools," Markle said. "I may decide before my season starts, but it definitely won't be anytime soon.

"I'm just going to narrow things down and take a long look at things and then I'll see where I am in August. If I like the choices I have, then I might decide, if not, then I will probably wait a little while."

Markle carries a 3.82 GPA and he recently scored a 25 on the ACT, so qualifying won't be an issue.

We'll continue to follow Markle's progress this summer and update things as they change.

Darren Markle Scout Profile

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