Raiders make late visit with NFL prospect

With a week to go until the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders were still busy planning their board. Included in the debate was a pre-draft visit from a somewhat local player.

SilverandBlack.com has confirmed that USC safety Darnell Bing had a pre-draft visit on Saturday. And for good reason, the Raiders desperately need a playmaking safety.

Oakland worked him out for about an hour and a half and came away impressed, according to a league source.

"Bing looked spectacular, his hips looked fluid and he demonstrated soft hands. "

A three-year starter at strong safety for the Trojans, Bing ended his career with eight interceptions, including a team-leading four as a senior. He also contributed 50 tackles in his final year with USC.

Staying close to his roots has been one of his dreams – and Oakland would suit him just fine.

"One of my brothers goes to Cal State Dominguez," said Bing with pride. " My other brother is a real estate agent, and he lives in Sacramento, California."

When asked to describe his background and family life growing up, Bing talked about how thankful he was for his mom and his family who always supported him and encouraged him to succeed in sports whether playing football or running track. Sports were an important part of his life from grade school through high school and on into college. It is a passion his brothers still share with him and would love to follow – what better way than if he stayed close?

A former running back and track star, Bing is leaving USC with one year of eligibility remaining. But Bing is not foreign to the pressures. He had to follow in the footsteps of Troy Polamalu and felt it was time to make the move.

"I set a lot of goals for myself in the beginning of the season I felt that I accomplished pretty much everything I wanted," Bing said about his decision to leave early. "Then the support from my friends and family and my coaching staff that also helped me with my main goal that was to make the jump to the NFL."

Having grown up idolizing Ronnie Lott, Bing emulates his style of play and performs the same way as the former Niner – giving all he has on the field.

And teams have fallen in love with not only his work on the field, but also his ability to disseminate information off it, particularly in the film room.

"I would say my greatest attribute is reading my keys and being able to jump routes, because of the amount of film that I've watched and knowing what the quarterback's main keys are. And also being able to see what he sees on the field at the same time."

His smarts on the field was evident to everyone, including USC head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll called him a playmaker who has great hands.

"He's such a natural athlete," said Carroll. "He's able to come up with the right decision and how to make his plays when the time comes."

Bing would come in with a chance to supplant Derrick Gibson, a first round pick in 2001. Gibson has disappointed from the strong safety position, as injury and inconsistency have kept him from reaching his potential. With the aerial attack becoming more prominent in the NFL, Bing would solidify a weak unit.

Considered a late first round, early second round pick, Oakland has hopes that he will still be on the board when their pick rolls around in the second frame.


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