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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Watch List CB wants to feel at home

By Chantel Jennings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In the small town of Lima, Ohio, in which some grades have as few as 85 students and the football team has just 54 members, the players and coaches and, by extension, the community all become extremely tight knit.

So it’s no surprise that ESPN Watch List cornerback Darius West (Lima, Ohio/Lima Central Catholic) is looking for that kind of atmosphere at the next level.

“Our school isn’t that big,” West said. “I know everybody at our school, everybody’s parents, you all know everything in the whole community. And that plays a big part because if you’re a family, you’re a better team. I don’t want to go to a college that doesn’t have that.”

West holds eight offers from the likes of Purdue, Louisville, Indiana and Illinois, and he has been hearing plenty from Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Michigan State.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound DB took a visit to OSU’s junior day for the Ohio State-Michigan basketball game and was impressed with the campus, the atmosphere, and most importantly the coaches -- and not just the secondary coach.

“I liked Ohio State so much when I went down there because I didn’t just talk to my coach,” West said. “I talked to the running back coach, the receiver coach, lots of coaches. I want to feel comfortable with the entire coaching staff.”

This weekend he’ll take in Illinois, followed by a trip next weekend to Indiana. He has been in talks with the Michigan State and Georgia Tech coaches to get on campus, and this summer he plans to take visits to Arkansas and Tennessee, whose staff he knows well since they recruited him to Cincinnati.

“I just want to see if the coaches are people persons,” West said. “When they tell me stuff, I want to see if they mean it. I want to see how we stay in contact.”