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September 5, 2008
'Where's Darius going?'
'Where is Darius going' hasn't reached 'where is Mitch going' status, but it's close.
West Helena Central cornerback Darius Winston, 6-0, 180, 4.38, will announce his decision today at noon at a press conference in the high school's administration building. Winston is rated the No. 2 cornerback in the nation, the nation's No. 20 overall prospect and a five-star recruit by Rivals.com. He is the prize of this year's in-state class.
Winston's recruiting is similar in some ways to that of former five-star Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain, who is now at USC. Both committed to Arkansas and then both backed off that verbal pledge. Mustain ended up recommitting and signing with the Razorbacks before opting to leave after one semester and head to Los Angeles.
Arkansas fans checked HawgSports.com by the minute for updates on Mustain's status, and it has been similar for Winston. Both Mustain and Winston had over 25 scholarship offers.
Winston has whittled his list down to two schools....Arkansas and Ole Miss. It's Bobby Petrino against Houston Nutt again. The two are pitted against one another daily on the Internet, so why should this be any different?
Arkansas fans can't seem to let go of the notion Nutt is gone and the UA has hired one of the best coaches in the nation to replace him. Of course, Nutt brought much of the continued criticism on himself by accepting a job at Ole Miss, another SEC Western Division school.
Winston took an official visit to Oxford (Miss.) last weekend and watched the Rebels beat up on a weak Memphis team. Arkansas meanwhile struggled to get past an equally weak Western Illinois team. However, those two games should have little, if any, bearing on where Winston chooses today.
Winston should be much more interested in where will Arkansas and where will Ole Miss be in two, three or four years. Nutt took Arkansas to a level in the SEC it had never been to, and Petrino will probably take it a notch or two higher than Nutt did.
Today's announcement means Winston will go into the commitment total at one of the two schools. However, it's still a long ways until the Feb. 4 National Signing Day so Winston will continue to get hounded by recruiters, though a close family member says this decision will be the final one for Winston.
Where is Darius going? -Check out HawgSports.com's premium message board, THE RAZOR'S EDGE for LIVE on the scene updates throughout the press conference.