West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic wide receiver Amara Darboh committed to Michigan on Sunday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, among others.
Darboh is 6'2" and 190 lbs. with a 4.42-second time in the forty yard dash and a 4.28-second time in the 20-yard shuttle. As a senior he played in only seven games due to a shoulder injury, but he grabbed 48 passes for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a junior in 2010, Darboh had 49 receptions for 646 yards and 6 touchdowns.
ESPN: 3-star, 78 rating, #77 WR
Rivals: 4-star, #31 WR, #208 overall
Scout: 4-star, #33 WR, #206 overall
24/7 Sports: 4-star, 93 rating, #19 WR, #191 overall
Darboh visited unofficially back in the summer, but his official visit happened during Michigan's 40-34 victory over Ohio State last week. There was a time when Notre Dame looked to be the leader for his services, but he was reportedly turned off by some of head coach Brian Kelly's antics early in the season when Kelly was seen blowing up on the sidelines. (In case you're counting, that's at least two Michigan recruits who didn't appreciate Kelly's attitude; freshman running back Justice Hayes was the other.)
Darboh is a solid but unspectacular wide receiver prospect. He has good size, which should serve him well in the Big Ten and in Al Borges's pro-style offense. He shows the ability to high point the ball and catch passes away from his body. He shows some elusiveness and has above average speed, but viewers of his highlights should remember that he plays in the state of Iowa for a Catholic school with an enrollment of roughly 1,300. The competition level in these highlights is somewhat questionable. Darboh also looks like a willing and able blocker who should be helpful in the running game.
There are few glaring faults in Darboh's game, at least not major ones that won't be coached. I would like to see him get off the line quicker; he needs to work on his footwork and explosion. I would also like to see him create more separation on his routes. He's not a lazy route runner, but there are times when he could create more of a window for the quarterback to throw. Once he realizes that college cornerbacks will be quick enough to stay with him, he should get a feel for those nuances. Darboh also has a tendency to catch the ball with his body whenever possible. I would like to see him snatch the ball out of the air with more consistency.
Overall, Darboh looks like he should be a productive wide receiver at Michigan. As long as the Wolverines can field quarterbacks who can distribute the ball to their receivers with consistency, Darboh could very well be a 1,000-yard receiver in a few years. The closest comparison I see is to Adrian Arrington, who just happens to be the last Iowan to come to Michigan. Arrington had good size, good speed, and good leaping ability, but his best quality was the skill to make difficult, acrobatic catches.
Darboh is the 24th commitment in the 2012 recruiting class and the first wide receiver. Michigan is expected to take one more receiver, perhaps coming from the pool of Jordan Payton, Jehu Chesson, and Stefon Diggs.
TTB Rating: 80 (ratings explanation)