Georgia Tech nabs big-time safety in N. Cobb’s Darren Waller

Darren Waller is all smiles after an interception against Harrison last season (Photo provided by Darren Waller)

Darren Waller is all smiles after an interception against Harrison last season (Photo by Todd R. McQueen/Marietta Daily Jounral)

Darren Waller knew as soon as he received a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech this past weekend that he wanted to commit. But there was one problem.

His parents were nowhere to be found.

“They had plans for the day so I came to the [Junior-Senior] camp with one of my teammates,” said Waller, a 6-foot-5, 204-pound safety who became commitment No. 8 for the Yellow Jackets as of Tuesday night. “I wanted to talk to my parents about it. But I knew Tech is where I wanted to go.”

According to North Cobb football coach Shane Queen, Tech got itself a jewel of a football prospect.

“He’s 6-5, pushing 210 pounds, ran a 4.36 electronic time, power cleans 280, has a 3.8 GPA. I don’t know what else you could ask for,” Queen said.

Still, Waller’s door wasn’t getting beaten down by recruiters. His other official offers to date have come from Kentucky, Illinois, Illinois State, Air Force, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky.

Why not more interest from the power conferences?

“Well, first off he’s gained about 20 pounds since last fall,” Queen said. “And he’s gone from a 4.6 [40] down to a 4.4, which is a product of his increased strength. Another big thing is we haven’t been as successful as we have been in the past. And it’s still early in the recruiting process really, even though everything’s kind of moved up these days.”

None of that stuff matters to Waller.

“It’s been kind of quiet on the recruiting front,” he said. “But I have an opportunity to play college football. I’m not going to complain because USC and Florida didn’t give me offers.”

And Waller is excited about what he sees happening at Georgia Tech.

“I know a lot of the people that they’re recruiting and a lot of the guys that have already committed,” Waller said. “I think we’re putting together a great class and building on the success we’ve had winning games and championships and playing in bowl games.”

As for the increased size and strength — Waller said he started last season at 176 pounds — he said some of it is due to the natural maturation process but a lot of it is just hard work.

“I drink a lot of protein shakes and muscle milks,” said Waller, who was just leaving a workout at North Cobb late Wednesday morning. “I work out at school with our team and I do a lot of extra stuff at home. I think it’s mostly a product of the hard work I’ve been putting in.”

GEORGIA TECH 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. OL Trey Braun, (6-5, 275), Tallahassee, Fla.
  2. OL Bryan Chamberlain (6-4, 280), Albany-Monroe HS
  3. LB Chaz Cheeks (6-3, 220), East Hall HS
  4. LB Jabari Hunt-Days, (6-3, 226), Hillgrove HS
  5. OL Shaquille Mason (6-2, 305), Columbia, Tenn.
  6. RB Quartterrio Morgan (5-10, 175), Mt. Zion HS
  7. S Darren Waller (6-5, 204), North Cobb HS
  8. ATH Airyn Willis (6-2, 180), High Point, N.C.

168 comments Add your comment

82Dawg

June 16th, 2010
1:06 pm

Sounds like Tech got a good prospect, good luck to him except the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Iron Lung

June 16th, 2010
1:10 pm

WHO CARES ABOUT A 3RD RATE INBRED, HILLBILLY PROGRAM LIKE THE GEORGIA BULLDOGS???

THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RELEVANT SINCE HERSCHEL WALKER FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

WHEN’S THE LAST TIME GEORGIA EVEN WON SOMETHING?? SERIOUSLY.

AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA @ GEORGIA FANS

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHA @ GEORGIA TECH FANS. GEORGIA TECH HAS A FOOTBALL TEAM???

Dan

June 16th, 2010
1:14 pm

Stay classy, Iron Lung. Glad we got this kid. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy and be a player for us.

Nice post 82Dawg. Wish more of the folks who post were rational like you.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:14 pm

Sounds to me like he is gonna be a beast or a bust. Lets hope its the first of the two.

collegeballfan

June 16th, 2010
1:14 pm

That size with the speed is intriging. If he gets bigger can he go to OLB? If he has put on 20 lbs in a year will he put on 20 more in another year or two?

Reality

June 16th, 2010
1:15 pm

3 OL signed already weighing 275, 280, and a whopping 305. Seems that Paul’s fighting the problems right from the source. This could seriously be a nasty, nasty recruiting class.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:16 pm

Well if you dont call a program with the top 3 winning %’s in bowl games all time and a program with 4 national titles a good school, then i dont know what is. This is Georgia Tech

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:17 pm

Reality but they still are going to get a great recruit from stephen tuitt soon….DE and a beast

Douglas

June 16th, 2010
1:18 pm

As a dawg fan, it sounds like you got a steal.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:19 pm

Wished we had 2 more morgan burnetts coming in again…wow!!

DOC REEM

June 16th, 2010
1:20 pm

Not a real Tech fan but I am a real GA. Boy and I must say Tech is putting together a pretty good recruiting class. I really like this kids potential. I heard about him months ago running a sub 4.4 forty at several camps and then looked at size and was like, “why is he not being heavily recruited”. Anyway unless their not playing UGA I gotta root for Tech also. Good job Coach Paul. Now please stop getting Josh Nesbitt killed and pass a little more. Go Dawgs!!!

KeithB

June 16th, 2010
1:22 pm

Sounds like a great kid. I agree, a few more lbs and he’ll be at OLB. I like that GT isn’t brining in pint sized DBs.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:22 pm

I agree with doc reem on everything, and for them to win the big one they need to build there defence up like it was under oleary and throw the ball a little better

Da'Prick Rogers

June 16th, 2010
1:22 pm

Want to see a real safety? Watch UGA v UT on 10.09.10 and you will see The Hitman Hamilton, a guy named Rambo, and my broken body on the field. Also, Alec Ogletree anyone?? LOL a the Joke by Coke talking defense…but hey, they have bigger fish to fry…lol

BuddyColtrane

June 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

From the sounds of it, Tech has got a real sleeper on their hands. I echo what 82Dawg says about the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

But to be honest, most of your DB’s are smaller then your recievers

Da'Prick Rogers

June 16th, 2010
1:24 pm

I hear it was a real steal getting that OL away from Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee-Chattanooga….bwaaahaha, I’m sure he will fit right into the high school program that is the Institute of Nerdology

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 16th, 2010
1:24 pm

Ratings don’t mean much at this stage, but the ratings say Tech has a decent, not great class in 2011 so far. However this kid fits the bill of the rest of the kids, TONS of upside and a whole lot of work to be done. Its a good formula for the Tech coaches to do. If they have confidence in their abilities and strategy, its these kinds of kids that will blossom. And I have no reason to think Groh and Johnson lack anything when it comes to rounding out the edges of these high potential kinds of players. 6′5″ my god.

wiley

June 16th, 2010
1:25 pm

This kid is huge and fast(if that 40 time is legit) I hope he gets a look at WR before its all said and done. Nice pickup…GO Jackets!

SILLY UGA FANS

June 16th, 2010
1:25 pm

Welcome to the flats. I trust in CPJ and the staff with these latest recruits and again it looks like they have got a solid player who is flying under the radar and looks like an all around good kid.
82dawg nice to see a dawg fan that is also a all around college football fan.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:25 pm

Guys not talking smack here at all ok, dont take this the wrong way. Georgia needs to start producing something on the field with these great classes they have been getting under richt. To stop all the talk about Uga being a university that chokes, they have to do it on the field. I think richt is a great recruiter, but not a great coach.

Hmmmmmmmmm!

June 16th, 2010
1:26 pm

Reminds me a bit of Jay Ratliff who played tight end at Lowndes in 1999 but beefed up so much
that he is now playing DL for the D. Cowboys. With that heigth and speed there is no telling
where he ends up. Safety, linebacker, or even DE.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:27 pm

DA’PRICK RODGERS…WHAT ABOUT THAT REDNECK OF CHOKEOLIOGY UP THERE IN ATHENS…..SEX WITH YOUR MOTHER AND SISTER BEFORE HOME GAMES IS THE WAT TO GO HUH? HEHEHEHEHEHE

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 16th, 2010
1:27 pm

Da’Prick Rogers, It’s ironic that you would make a comment about stealing recruits form other schools, when your name is a derivative of a recruit who was stole by a team, I and many others, would consider a lesser school that the one you obvious cheer but never went to…Maybe you should care more about “your” program and less about the one that has gone 1 for 2 since it installed that “high School” offense against your own team.

Z

June 16th, 2010
1:28 pm

Looks like GT staff is doing its job, now we need to fill the stands and do ours. Thanks for all UGA fans and we wish you guys luck too, but that one gome a year. GO TECH!!!!

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:29 pm

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 16th, 2010
1:30 pm

jesus, was I drunk when I wrote that reply…got to remember to re-read for grammer before I post a paragraph…embarrassing

Tech@Newton

June 16th, 2010
1:31 pm

With his size and speed, he sounds like a prototypical PJ wide receiver. Wonder why he hasn’t been used that way? If he converts, remember where you heard it first.

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:32 pm

WORD OUT IS GEORGIA TECH WILL WIN THE BATTLE OVER MIAMI & UGA FOR STEPHEN TUITT…DE

Halberstram

June 16th, 2010
1:33 pm

Don’t know if I’ve ever heard of a safety being that tall. Wonder if he will outgrow the position, no pun intended. Sounds like he’s got good measurables, so probably could project to something else if needed.

Congrats Tech!

GeorgiaTech All The Way

June 16th, 2010
1:34 pm

LET ME SEE…I THINK GEORGIA TECH WON THE BATTLE FOR JOSH.NESBIT, JOHN DWYER, MORGAN BURNETT, CALVIN JOHNSON, DERRICK MORGAN, ETC OVER UGA

Buzzzed

June 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

Wow, 6′5″, fast and not playing receiver in high school? My best guess is he has stone hands. Anyway, he would be a monster at safety but I see him growing into another role. Big time pick-up. Looks like CPJ is assembling his own Dream team.

wiley

June 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

Not to be a stickler “Georgia Tech All The Way” but Derrick Morgan was from Pennsylvania and I dont think UGA was recruiting him very much or even at all. Might be wrong though…

Berry29

June 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

um, OK re: the UGA D….
even our all conference tight end was getting behind
the UGA safety. Same for WRs Gerald Jones and Denarious Moore.
They all return so Da’Rick won’t have to do it all by himself –
even though he can!

Dumbo

June 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

Don’t see him as Safety…more likely as LB and if fills out, lordy he’ll be one very fast full sized LB (say 6′5″ 240lbs sounds about right)…I’m a puppy fan and we ain’t got nothing like him. However, will the GT fans please get over their insecurities about UGA, most of the time GT & UGA recruit differently…especially now with Johnson’s offense and UGA changing defenses.

nickj0321

June 16th, 2010
1:48 pm

Nice pick up CPJ…looks like he could be a great player

Adonisdaking

June 16th, 2010
1:51 pm

Tech and UGA Have Different Systems This Year Though They Both Will Be Doing The 3-4 Defensive Scheme…

Too Easy

June 16th, 2010
1:53 pm

I’m with some of the others. WR all the way. As an oversized DB, might get out-quicked by WRs.

GTax

June 16th, 2010
2:03 pm

I think this is the best blog of the year so far.

Thanks Dawg fans for the good comments and thanks fellow GT fans for not rattling any cages.

This is a good player. I doubt he will see any time WR, so don’t get your hopes up GT fans. Al Groh likes his DB’s tall and fast so as to keep up with taller WR’s in the 3-4. Since the linebackers are doing most of the run and short pass defense, Al likes to makes sure that the backfield is especailly equipped to handle the longer passes etc.

Great pick up!

brick

June 16th, 2010
2:06 pm

Nice pick up Tech, but with his offers and the way some schools are handing them out to Ga kids there has to be something going on with the kid. UT coaches are standing at the exits of Ga high schools handing offers out to all the males and some of the larger females.

Jacket Backer

June 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

welcome to the flats darren!….looks like Tech is putting together a very solid class. i certainly hope he stays at DB. we need that height to combat the tall WR’s these days.

Go Jackets!!!

Chip Towers

June 16th, 2010
2:09 pm

Buzzzed: I think Waller plays some wide receiver and he plays on the basketball team, too. Good athlete.

Chip Towers

June 16th, 2010
2:11 pm

GeorgiaTech All The Way: True on all counts but Derrick Morgan.

TampaDawg86

June 16th, 2010
2:12 pm

Congrats to this young man getting a full ride scholarship hope he gets a great education.

gdawginkalamazoo

June 16th, 2010
2:17 pm

Might be a tough one to get around. Looks like great pick-up for you bees. Congrats to the kid.

BigTimeTECHFan

June 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

Keep him at saftey – 4.4 speed will cover a lot of gound quick, that’s CB speed, then 6′5″ frame will make a lot of plays on the ball when he gets there. Only question is can he hit? you have to be able to hit to be big time safety and size and speed don’t factor much. If not a 6′5″ CB would be nice.

BigTimeTECHFan

June 16th, 2010
2:22 pm

Oh, congrats Darren (if you read this)
Best of luck, save some hits and picks for the UGA games.

GT65

June 16th, 2010
2:22 pm

Welcome to GT. Looking forward to watching you play.

Dawg Dog

June 16th, 2010
2:24 pm

Congrats to this young man and Tech. He has some impressive numbers.

THWGT!!!

June 16th, 2010
2:26 pm

Gotta agree, this looks like a good get for gtu. Best of luck to what seems to be a fine young man, except against the red & black.

THWGT!!!