- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
A quarterback himself, Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O’Hara signal-caller Dashawn Darden could not help but be impressed by the two quarterbacks he saw Thursday night.
While Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Rutgers’ Gary Nova did not play their best games of the season, a young quarterback like Darden was still in awe.
“The quarterback for both teams were both great. They showed me a lot last night,” Darden.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Darden, who is also being looked at as an athlete, came away most impressed with the atmosphere at Rutgers on Thursday, as the Scarlet Knights and Cardinals were playing in a de facto Big East final for a BCS bowl bid.
The scene in Piscataway was reminiscent of the 2006 game when the undefeated Knights knocked off undefeated and No. 3 Louisville at home.
“I thought the fan atmosphere was great. The fans were always into the game and always had a positive vibe,” Darden said. “It was amazing. The stadium was packed and it looked great. Everyone was waving their towels. I was amazed at how the crowd was in it like that.”
Darden spoke with the coaches as well, and he liked what he saw of the coaches on the sideline. Darden appreciated the staff is very hands-on with its players and demanded a lot out of them.
The coaches also talked to Darden about how to handle the recruiting process as it picks up for the 2014 prospect.
“They were just telling me that it’s a life decision to pick what college I want to go to,” Darden said, “and I have to be ready and focused to make that decision.”