Several years ago a hard-hitting, big time safety named Antrell Rolle played at Homestead (Fla.) South Dade, went on to sign with the University of Miami and had a decent career there.
South Dade now has a new safety that is not only garnering interest from the Canes, but a number of schools from around the South in Darin Baldwin. South Dade head coach Don Drinkhahn coached Rolle as well and see's the similarities between the two.
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"Darin is just such a versatile player right now," Drinkhahn said. "He could play wide receiver, safety or cornerback on the next level. He is very versatile and does so many things for us. He's so athletic that he is even our punter and when something goes wrong there he is able to turn it into a big gain or a big play for us. He's on all the coverage teams and he is also our return man."
The 6-foot, 167-pound Baldwin runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds and has a 34-inch vertical jump. Baldwin fits the bill of the perfect south Florida recruit because he has that "Miami swagger" that many prospects from the area possess.
"He's a very confident kid," Drinkhahn said. "It's in a good way though. He's not cocky, he's just real confident. He knows his abilities and he uses them to his advantage. He is the type of kid that comes up and tells you to get the ball in his hands because he can make something happen. He is a leader on the field and his teammates really look up to him. He's a real competitor."
Another prospect on the South Dade squad that has made ripples in the recruiting pool is running back Lambert Edwards, who has also been drawing interest from schools around the South.
"He has tremendous balance," Drinkhahn said. "He has great vision and he is far more powerful than most people realize. His legs are so strong and he has been able just to keep churning and break out of the pile several times this year when I thought there was no way. He rushed for big yards behind a less than average offensive line this year. He really blocks well out of the backfield too."
The 5-foot-9, 178-pound Edwards runs the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds and as a junior rushed for 1,571 yards.
"He has great hands and catches everything out of the backfield," Drinkhahn said. "He was our go to guy this year, but we simply need to get the ball in his hands even more. We especially didn't throw to him enough last year and will definitely do more it this season. He has great work ethic and he is a really quiet kid. He's very coachable and is going to be a very nice pick-up for somebody."
Though he hasn't gotten the noteriety up to this point that the other two have, versatile athlete Jevon Walker will also likely be signing a Division I scholarship next February.
"Jevon is actually the fastest kid on the team," Drinkhahn said. "He ran well at the NIKE combine last weekend. We have had him playing some defensive back, wide receiver, defensive end, linebacker and just about anywhere else for us. It's not really been fair to him because he hasn't had a chance to truly shine at one position, hopefully we'll get him more settled in this year."
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Walker ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds last weekend at the NIKE combine held at the University of Miami and he also ran the shuttle in 4.4 seconds.
"We have to play him at defensive end some because he doesn't let anything get outside and he is a good tackler," Drinkhahn said. "I think on the college level he will probably end up as a strong safety because he's so fast, such a sure tackler and loves to hit. I think he is definitely a Division I player and could end up being a steal for somebody."