The Mississippi Rebels offered one of the top 250 recruits in the 2014 class yesterday in four-star safety Darius West, who is a standout prospect from Lima, Ohio. West, one of the top ten recruits in the state of Ohio, is reportedly high on the Kentucky Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Louisville Cardinals, and Michigan State Spartans. At this point in time, the best bet is to pick a team in the state of Kentucky to land West, as all 11 experts on 247Sports believe he is either headed to Kentucky or Louisville. In fact. only national analyst Barton Simmons believes that the Cardinals will land West, as the other ten analysts view Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats as the program to beat for Darius West.
The four-star safety has also received offers from the Boston College Eagles, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Indiana Hoosiers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Iowa Hawkeyes, Pittsburgh Panthers, Missouri Tigers, Penn State Nittany Lions, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Purdue Boilermakers, UCF Knights, Vanderbilt Commodores, Illinois Fighting Illini, and West Virginia Mountaineers. Two legendary Big Ten schools in Ohio State and Michigan are also recruiting West, and I could definitely see the Buckeyes offering the top ten in-state recruit with both Kerry Coombs and Everett Withers listed by 247Sports as coaches recruiting West.
One of the top 15 safeties in the nation, Darius West is 6’0″, 195 pounds and runs a 4.6 forty. Last season for Lima Central Catholic, West picked off five passes, forced two fumbles, and recorded 47 tackles. Overall, West looks like a great safety without any glaring weaknesses, and I like him at free safety. West has excellent ball skills (as evidenced by the five picks), and he has plenty of speed and range. On top of that, West is also an adept tackler and has the ability to be a very good starting FS in college.
Ole Miss currently has two safety commits in the 2014 class (nine total commits for one of the top ten recruiting classes in the country) in four-star Meridian standout (great in-state catch for Hugh Freeze) C.J. Hampton. Three-star Jackson, Mississippi prospect Ronald Walker is the other safety commit in the Rebels 2014 class, and he is one of the top 40 safeties in the country.