January 15, 2012

Tide likes Lake's versatility

The University of Alabama is always looking for a versatile defensive lineman who can play all three spots along the line, similar to what Marcell Dareus did in 2009 and what Jesse Williams did at times this year.

The UA coaching staff believes it may have found that player in its own backyard this year. Alabama commitment Darren Lake may be 330 pounds, but he's athletic enough to play anywhere on the defensive line.

The York native took his official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend and talked with UA head coach Nick Saban about his future with the Crimson Tide.

"I just went down there and had fun," Lake said. "I had dinner with Coach Saban, and then went and had a meeting with him. We did a whole lot of stuff. I just had fun with the players.

"I can play the one-technique, the three, the five and the seven, just like what Marcell Dareus did. Coach Saban said I'm athletic enough to do that. That makes me feel good. I feel great right now."

Saban also talked to the Rivals.com three-star about his grades, making sure he was still on pace to graduate in May.

"He was telling me about my grades and stuff and how I should still finish strong," Lake said. "They're doing alright. They're doing real good. I just have to make up some work in my language classes, my core classes."

UA freshman linebacker Trey DePriest served as Lake's host on his visit. A number of other Alabama commitments were also in town over the weekend, and Lake got a chance to talk with Adam Griffith, Caleb Gulledge and Reggie Ragland among others.

"It was real nice," Lake said. "I was glad to meet them, and I hope to meet them more often, so we get a chance to know each other better."

Even though he's committed to the Tide, the mammoth defensive lineman said he's still hearing from schools like Auburn and Miami. However, he also said he's done taking visits and that his commitment to Alabama is solid.

For now, Lake wants to concentrate on improving his game before he enrolls at UA this summer.

"I'm going to work on my quickness, my hand placement and thinking more quickly, my reaction."

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