Elyria (Ohio) coach Kevin Fell calls Darius Badford his best offensive lineman on a team that averages 44.3 points per game.
Colleges have taken notice as Ball State, Kent State, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern and Pittsburgh have started showing interest.
While the offensive guard, who said he’d probably switch over to center in college, is taken aback, he’s still driving to turn that interest into offers.
“I did not think I’d be getting all this, but I’m blessed,” Badford said. “They say I’m talented and hard-working. I love the game of football.
“I love the vibe of football, it’s in my heart. It makes me work very hard to succeed, to get more and to get better. I want more, I have to work hard. I’m not satisfied.”
There is a little bit of a favorite for the 6-foot-1, 280 pound Badford even though he says it is way too early in the process. He’s in constant contact with Pitt and has already made two unofficial visits to see the Panthers play.
He was there for the Pitt-Virginia Tech game at Heinz Field on Sept. 15 -- a 35-17 win by the Panthers -- and caught them a week later in a 55-10 victory over Gardner-Webb.
“I like their attitude,” Badford said. “They’re very good. I liked the Virginia Tech game more just because of the atmosphere. It was competitive. It seemed like a rivalry.”
What Badford likes the most is the offense scheme Pitt has for its offensive linemen. He’s trying to get to another game this season, but might hold off until the offseason before he visits somewhere else as distance plays a role in most places.
“To me, Pitt is a good place,” Badford said. “It looks like it could be like home.”