Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth running back Orleans Darkwa has picked up a handful of offers during his senior year. At this point, Darkwa has offers from UAB, Army, Tennessee State and Chattanooga but he may be due for even more.
As a junior, Darkwa rushed for over 1,900 yards in the competitive Division II-AA classification in Tennessee. He did that while splitting carries in an option offense with Middle Tennessee State three-star signee Tavarres Jefferson. With Jefferson gone, the offensive load for Ensworth has been placed on the shoulders of Darkwa and he hasn't disappointed.
"Everybody was trying to see how I was going to do without Tavarres but with me, I stay confident in my abilities," Darkwa said. "I'm not surprised at my production because I knew Coach Bowers was going to give me the ball a lot and with me, I'm going to try to score every time. I can't say that I'm surprised because with the offensive line that I have, I should be getting these yards anyway."
What Darkwa has accomplished has been astounding. Even after missing the final regular season game, Darkwa has already rushed for over 2,000 yards on the season and has put up monster stats week after week while being the focal point of the Ensworth offense.
While averaging 250 rushing yards per game, Darkwa has eclipsed the 300 yard mark on three different occasions. The amount of workload that Darkwa has handled has taken its toll on the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder but he has enjoyed the burden.
"The next day you'll feel it but you enjoy the opportunity to get that many carried because it says something that coach gives you that many carries," he said. "You might feel it but I like it."
Darkwa's legs have led Ensworth to an undefeated regular season and a No. 63 ranking in the RivalsHigh top 100. After a first round bye in the playoffs, Ensworth is ready to zero in on a state championship which would be the fledgling school's first.
"That's our main goal, to actually make it to the state championship," he said. "Nobody is going to let up, especially in the playoffs. We've got number one in our bracket and everybody is out to kick us out so we're focused with our eyes on the prize."
Though the state championship is at the forefront right now for Darkwa, his four scholarship offers have also relieved some pressure, not only for him but for his parents.
"I'm relieved," he said of his four offers. "Definitely my parents are relieved. The coaches always tell me that I was going to get some offers eventually. I always thank got that I'm in a position to even get these opportunities."
Along with his offers, Darkwa is still hearing from MTSU, Arkansas State, Tennessee and Clemson. He has taken unofficial visits to Knoxville and Clemson that he really enjoyed.
"I've always been a fan of Tennessee so getting to see inside Neyland Stadium was a great experience," he said. "Clemson, I loved what they're all about over there. They coaches were great and I loved what they're about there."
If schools creep into the recruitment late for Darkwa, they will find more than just numbers but someone that has all the tools you look for in a back.
"The coaches try to say that it's rare to see a North-South back and I definitely try to get North-South as quick as I can," said the three-star prospect. "Definitely my size and strength help me out with that. I don't shy away from contact so I'd say that's the ability that I have that helps me out with yards and being durable to take that many carries is also something that helps me as well."