Ranking the Contenders: Darian Chestnut
Like many of the other prospects in this class, the spring and early summer were going to be full of college visits for four-star Darian Chestnut. The pandemic and recruiting dead period put all of that on hold and now Chestnut, a defensive back out of Camden, N.J., is trying to announce his college decision before the season. There is still a lot of research to be done before that, but here are the programs with the best chance to land his commitment right now.
CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
The Cardinals have been stocking up on defensive talent lately and adding Chestnut to the mix would be a huge boost for this class. He hasn’t visited the campus yet but the coaching staff did do a virtual visit with Chestnut and he was very impressed. Look for the coaches to push for Chestnut to take a visit to campus as soon as the recruiting dead period is over.
2. OLE MISS
The Rebels haven’t recruited much talent out of New Jersey over the years, but they have a real shot at landing Chestnut. He has a strong relationship with defensive coordinator Chris Partridge, who has deep roots in New Jersey. Chestnut has to get more familiar and more comfortable with the players and coaches at Ole Miss before announcing a commitment.
There are a lot of connections between Michigan and Camden and that isn’t lost on Chestnut. He is very close with the Michigan coaches, especially Mike Zordich, and is familiar with many of the players. Current Wolverine Brad Hawkins and former Wolverine Cesar Ruiz are from the same high school as Chestnut. Look for Michigan to try to make a big push for Chestnut once the dead period is over.
Chestnut has yet to visit the Miami campus but a virtual visit with the coaching staff gave him a really good look at what it would be like to be a Hurricane. Seeing where he would fit in at Miami was a big deal for Chestnut and building up those relationships with the coaches and players will be one of his priorities over the next couple months. An in-person visit to Miami will get set up for this fall.
Having already added four commitments this month, Syracuse has momentum on the recruiting trail and Chestnut is starting to feel that. The Orange have been recruiting him for some time and they need a defensive back like Chestnut in this class. Syracuse was the only school Chestnut was able to visit in 2020 and that helped them become serious contenders for his commitment down the road. West Virginia and Michigan State are also very much in the picture with Chestnut, who expects to announce a short list in the next month or two.