Scholarship offers are just now starting to trickle in for one the top prep players in Western Pennsylvania. Darrin Walls of Woodland Hills High School is already being talked about in comparable terms with some of the other great players produced by his school in recent years, including Steve Breaston, Ryan Mundy and Devon Lyons.
“I’ve received scholarship offers from Pitt and Louisville,” Walls said. “And I attended Pitt’s junior day.”
Walls, who attended a couple of home games in Ohio Stadium last year - including OSU’s impressive victory over Michigan, wasn’t at Ohio State’s junior day in early February.
“We had a chance to go but (my family) were busy that weekend so we couldn’t attend,” Walls said.
Because of his relationship with the Lyons family, him and Wesley Lyons Jr. are best friends, Walls obviously has some interest in Ohio State.
“I think it’s a really good atmosphere to play in and the coaches are really nice there,” Walls said. “If I were to name a top five right now then they would be in the top five. The fans are crazy there and I like the stadium.”
But Walls really is interested in the academic side of the recruiting process and Virginia and Michigan are two of the schools, in particular, that have caught his eye at this time.
“I like Michigan and Virginia for the academics but I also like Pitt because it’s a home town thing,” Walls said. “I think Pitt will be a school that I’ll consider but right now I’m not sure. I want to take a look at Virginia a lot and a couple of our players went to Michigan and they’ve been telling me all about it there. I just like Michigan and Virginia more than the other schools right now. ”
So just where does Walls stand with Ohio State in relationship to those other top schools?
“Ohio State has a chance,” he said. “I just never had a big interest in Ohio State until Devon went there. But I’m getting letters and stuff from them.”
At 6-1, 180 pounds, Walls has great size for cornerback, the position he is projected to play at the next level. But he also plays some at running back on offense for the Wolverines. Last year he scored six touchdowns rushing and three more receiving and he recorded two other scores as a member of the special teams.
“Corner is my best position,” he said. “I had a couple of interceptions (six) and a lot of tackles. I’m really aggressive on defense.”
Walls actually started out on defense at safety as a sophomore before he settled in as a cornerback last season. Mundy is the one player that Walls seems to remind those at his school of the most.
“That’s who they compare me to at Woodland Hills,” he said. “They all say I’m a Mundy type player.”
He’s certainly aware of the comparisons that are being made between himself and all of the players from his school who have gone on to play in the Big Ten. Both Walls and Wesley Lyons have a great chance to play at the elite level in college football like the others before them have.
“I’m not sure but I think I can compete up there right with those guys,” Walls said. “I think I’m just as fast as all of them. I ran a 4.4 last summer.”
His time to shine will come next season but for now Walls is just taking everything in stride and he’s content to be patient and enjoy the entire recruiting process that’s in front of him.
“First of all I just hope that we have a good season and then after the season I’ll go on my visits and make my decision,” Walls said. “Me and my dad we’re thinking about committing early before the season but I’m not too sure about. The earliest that I’ll probably commit will be right after the season.”
Ohio State obviously has their work cut out for them if they hope to have chance at landing Walls, especially when you consider that they’re the one school where he has already been to on a couple occasions for a game. In addition to seeing the Michigan game, Walls attended the exciting last second victory over Marshall.
“I think I could fall in love with Ohio State but right now I would say that they would be the last one in my top five,” Walls said. “Again Michigan and Virginia are the two highest. Pittsburgh and Notre Dame would be the other two.”
Will his relationship with the younger Lyons family member have any impact on where Walls eventually might go? The two have talked before about attending the same school together.
“Yes we have but I think that we’re each going to go to the school that is best for us and not just go to the same school with each other,” Walls said. “I’m just going to try to be the best player that I can this year and we’ll see what happens after that.”
Walls has a 3.5 GPA and will take the ACT in March.