Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne linebacker Darrien Howard picked up his most recent offer on Thursday from an SEC school and had several more schools interested in offering, but the four-star prospect was already on his way to deciding where he would play his college football.
Friday night Howard placed a call to the coaching staff at West Virginia University, letting them know he was accepting their scholarship offer.
"I fell in love with them on a visit," Howard said. "I didn't want to make a premature decision… I wanted to wait it out a little bit. I honestly thought it wasn't going to be as soon as it would be right now, but I've been thinking about it and dreaming about it and I feel it is the right thing to do. I feel more comfortable there than I feel anywhere else."
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A four-star linebacker who narrowly missed being ranked in the Rivals250 in the latest update, Howard had accumulated double-digit scholarship offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, N.C. State and Pitt. He weighed all his options, but at the end did not find the vibe anywhere else that he felt at West Virginia.
"I went up to their spring game and the family environment there - I felt so welcome," Howard said. "I talked to a couple of the players and when I went there I felt it. Then, the fan base is amazing. I went to a gas station after the game and they saw that I was a recruit and I was getting so much love just being a recruit."
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Howard played middle linebacker and fullback this past fall for Chaminade-Julienne. He expects to continue his defensive role for the Mountaineers.
"I'm going to be playing linebacker and if there is an opportunity to play early, I'll take it," Howard said.
Howard is the fifth commitment in the class of 2013 for West Virginia. He is ranked as the No. 11 inside linebacker prospect in the country.