February 10, 2010

Beamer, VT offers top 2011 ATH

Virginia Tech continues its push into the 2011 recruiting class with numerous offers across the mid-Atlantic region. The latest arrived last week for a top athlete who is up to approximately a dozen offers.

"My recent offers are from Virginia Tech, Illinois and Ohio State," Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School athlete Darius Jennings said. "I have other offers from Maryland, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia, West Virginia, Boston College, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

"Virginia Tech came early last week while Illinois and Ohio State were on Signing Day."

What does Jennings think of the latest crop of scholarships?

"Illinois I had never talked to them much, they sent a letter once to my school and then came back with an offer," he said. "Virginia Tech's coach came by a couple weeks back and I had been in touch with them a bit. I contacted him and he was a cool guy. They offered two weeks after they stopped by.

"As for Ohio State, that's a big offer for me. Coach Tressel came by the school two weeks ago. That was an exciting thing for me. I've kept in contact with them and they sent out an offer."

Clearly the Hokies and Buckeyes offers impressed the Maryland prospect. He went further in-depth on the two.

"For Ohio State it is just the tradition," he said. "That is big-time football and it's a great feel for a college game.

"With Virginia Tech, I wasn't really considering them much because I hadn't been talking to them. I'm definitely considering them now. They aren't too far from Maryland and they had a good year last season."

Jennings plans to start taking spring visits in the near future.

"I was supposed to visit Wake Forest. I'm still trying to work that out," he said. "I am going down to Virginia on March 6th. I don't really have a set list beyond that."

The Maryland prospect claims no favorites at this time.

"I don't really have any," he said. "I did grow up watching Maryland football and mostly the ACC, but I have no favorites. With this whole process, I'm just keeping my options open."

It's no secret a couple schools have ties to the Gilman program and how does that factor in?

"Coach Ferentz at Iowa coached at Baltimore and when they lived here his son went to our school," he said. "That pipeline started up recently and it does and doesn't affect me. It's cool my coach has a connection, but I'm looking at everybody.

"Also, Coach White at Ohio State has ties, but I'm really trying to keep my options open."

With offers coming from far and wide, Jennings did mention he is looking for a few important things in his future home.

"I want good academics. I'm leaning towards business management or an engineering field," he said. "I also want a school where I can play and see the field as much as possible. I'd like a place that has a family feel from the team and coaches. I want to see myself being there for four years of my life."

Jennings helps Gilman to a 7-3 record this past season as he earned first team all-metro and all-state honors.

An obvious athlete with outstanding speed, what position is Jennings targeted for at the next level?

"It varies from school to school, some are slotting me at wide receiver and others defensive back. Some want me as an all-purpose back. I really don't have a preference. I think I'm a decent defensive back, but I'm also good with the ball in my hands and I think I have good vision and good cuts."

Not just content to be a football start, Jennings also excels in track where he placed fourth in the 100 and third in the 200 in local championship meets.

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