Defensive line always seems to be a position of need for UCLA, and it is again with the recruiting class of 2006.
One of UCLA’s d-line targets is San Diego (Calif.) Morse defensive tackle Darius Savage (6-4, 320), who just so happens to be one of the premier shotput and discus throwers in the nation.
“I’m hearing from schools about football and about track, and I definitely want to do both in college,” said Savage. “I do both the discus and the shotput, and I could do the weight throw in college, but right now, its just the discus and shotput. Track is a big part of me, and it’s been tough to visit colleges this spring because of it,” said Savage.
UCLA has a history of shotputting football players on its side. Arguably the greatest lineman in UCLA history, Jonathan Ogden, was also an excellent shotputter, winning an NCAA title in 1996. So there would be some precedent if Savage chose to do both in Westwood.
In regard to recruiting, Savage is getting heavy attention from UCLA, California and Arizona. “Those three are the ones I hear from the most, and my other top schools are Washington and USC,” said Savage.
Recruiting Savage for UCLA is receivers coach Dino Babers, who has a connection to the Savage family. “My dad played against Coach Babers when they were in high school. He is a real nice guy, and I get along really well with him,” said Savage, whose father played his college ball at Fresno State. “I really like UCLA a lot. They have a good opportunity for me to play both football and do track. And it’s close to home for me.”
Savage will participate in UCLA’s lineman camp this Sunday, since he couldn’t make it to Junior Day last month.
As far as a decision is concerned, Savage said he obviously needs some scholarship offers, but that he wants to narrow it down to two and pick from them.
“My family wants me to stay on the West Coast, so that’s the only thing. I’ll probably play in the Pac-10,” said Savage. “And I’ll be able to throw still.”
Academically, Savage is carrying a 3.1 GPA and took the new SAT in early March.