Bounce Back Expectations

Darrell Givens said he always dreamed of playing for Miami and he may get that chance as the 'Canes have offered and are his top choice. "I love their alumni and they were always a great winning program," Givens said. "I've always dreamed of playing there. They had a down season last year, but they had a really good recruiting class and I went to their spring game and was real impressed..."

Darrell Givens, the 6-foot-1, 178 pound four-star cornerback from Lackey High School in Indian Head, Md., finished his junior season with 82 tackles, four fumbles caused and three interceptions, helping lead his team to a 10-3 record.

"I have real good size and I'm very aggressive," Givens said. "I read and attack and play smart. I'm very physical and like contact, but I want to work on staying lower and keeping my pad level down. I'm also trying to improve my backpeddle."

Givens, ranked as the No. 9 cornerback in the country by Scout.com, benches 225 pounds, squats 425 and has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I have a personal trainer," he said. "Joe Haden, Sr (father of Florida defensive back Joe Haden, Jr) is my personal trainer and he gets me ready for the camps and for game day. We work on my speed a lot and I spend a lot of time in the weight room too."

Growing up Givens said he always dreamed of playing for Miami and he may get that chance as the 'Canes are his top choice. "I love their alumni and they were always a great winning program," he said. "I've always dreamed of playing there." The 'Canes disappointing 2007 campaign hasn't stifled Givens' interest in the least. "They had a down season last year, but they had a really good recruiting class and I went to their spring game and was real impressed. I really want to see how they bounce back after last season because I want to play for a winning program."

Givens says he loves the family atmosphere at Miami as well as its tradition,. "They showed me a lot of love and treated me like I was already part of the team," he said. "My dad likes Miami a lot too. He really bonded with (wide receivers) coach Aubrey Hill and (secondary coach) Wesley McGriff."

Miami leads slightly over Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, Rutgers and Illinois. All of his favorites have offered as well as Oklahoma, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Oregon, Boston College and others.

"Ohio State was the first school to offer me," Givens said. "I'm going to their spring game on April 19 and I really like the coaches there. They seem really great. I also like the players they have and I'm friends with Jamie Wood (safety from Pickerington Central High School, Ohio) and he's already committed there. We talk a lot and he really wants me to go to Ohio State too so we can play together."

Givens also already attended junior days at Penn State, Rutgers, Boston College and local favorite Maryland, but he says he would prefer to leave the state. "I'd like to leave home and get away," he said.

"Penn State was real nice and I liked touring the campus," he said. "It's real big and they have like 40,000 students that go there. I'm going to their camp on May 10.

"Rutgers is another family-oriented place and I felt real comfortable there," Givens said. "I think I'd be able to go there and play right away."

Givens said he plans to make his announcement at the Army All-America game next January. Signing day is Feb. 4, 2009.

"I'm looking for a family-oriented team and where I could see myself living for four years," he said. "I want a good stable coaching staff and to play for a coach that won't leave after two years."

He reports a 2.5 core GPA and is taking the SAT on May 3.

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