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  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