|West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic WR Amara Darboh|
Four-star wide receiver Amara Darboh recently signed his National Letter of Intent for Michigan on February 1st, which was also his birthday. Less than 48 hours before his big day, Amara was nice enough to give us an update and answer several reader questions.
Reasons for choosing Michigan: "When I went there it seemed like I connected with the players right away. And I was just talking to the coaches, and I had just got done talking with Coach Hoke and I looked out - because he has this balcony place outside his office - and I saw Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon playing catch. . . . Then I saw Roy [Roundtree] and I talked to him and Devin and Jeremy and we all got along great. That was one of the biggest things because you want to get along with the guys that you'll be playing with next year, especially the older ones because they're going to be the leaders. . . . And after I met all of the coaches, I had great feelings about them, and I can see why all of the players love them."
Positive recruiting: "There were coaches at other schools that would say stuff about other schools and ask questions about other schools. But it seemed like Michigan didn't really worry about other schools and just recruited me, so that was something I liked, too."
Early playing time: "That's something that I've always wanted to do. I'm not an impatient person, but I feel with my body type, I'm kind of like a mid-year guy already. . . . So yeah, that's something that I saw the chance for at Michigan."
Role at Michigan: "They [they coaches] are telling me that I'm more like the new Michigan type of receiver. Like an outside sort of a receiver, I have a bigger frame, and I weigh like 205 lbs. now. I'm a pretty big receiver, so I'll be playing outside. So what [the coaches] were telling me was about the direction that they're taking the program, and they like taking receivers like me. . . . They were comparing me to Hemingway and stuff; we're both big receivers."
Shoulder surgery: "I'm on the basketball team, but I had surgery during the year, so I only got a chance to play in a couple of games. . . . The surgery was on my labrum; I had dislocated my shoulder. So I decided to have [the surgery] early in basketball season so I could have time to recover and be ready by the time I go to Ann Arbor. It's feeling pretty good right now. It's been like a month since I've had the surgery. I don't have the sling anymore and I can move it, but I don't have full range of motion yet, but I'm going to physical therapy and it's getting better every day. I should be good by March. So I'll definitely be ready by the time July comes around."
Roommate: "I think I'll be rooming - at least during the summer - with Jehu Chesson. We took our official [visit] together and like talking."
The #1 Jersey: "Yeah, I've heard about it. We've got a few Michigan fans around here, so I've heard about it. Braylon Edwards wore it last, I think. It's one of my goals while I'm at Michigan, but it's not like my first goal. My first goal is to get there, earn a spot and some playing time."
College major: "I'm going to try to go into the business school. I don't know if it'll be like marketing, financing, or managing or what, so I'll take some basic business classes and take it from there."
The NFL: "That's a goal of mine. That's one of my goals for sure. I've worked hard before and I'm working hard now and in the end, that's where I'm hoping to get to. . . . I like watching Brandon Marshall and other guys like Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson. . . . I really like watching Brandon Marshall, so if he wasn't on the Dolphins, I wouldn't really like the Dolphins, so I guess I don't really have a favorite [NFL] team."
Leisure: "I play a lot of video games with my friends, like Madden and NCAA. And then we get ping-pong going, and we play pick up games, football and basketball. . ."
Managing criticism and feedback: "I like my coaches to be honest with me, but then there are some people who will just say things and they don't know what they're talking about. I'm the type of person who if you say something and you don't know what you're talking about, I'll tell you. I won't be rude about it, but I'll tell you. But with my coaches, I feel like I'm a coachable player and I try to learn every day."
Dunkin': "I grew up liking basketball. I liked football, too, but basketball was more my thing back then. . .Yeah, I can dunk. I think that's [one of the reasons] why I like basketball. Going into eighth grade, that's the first time I dunked the ball. The one that I used to do all the time back in eighth is I'd throw it off the backboard. And then, have you seen when LeBron puts his hand behind his head and then dunks it? Yeah, I'd do that one a lot, too."
Read more about Amara and learn about his unique personal journey in an AnnArbor.com story titled "War-time orphan to big-time football: Michigan recruit Amara Darboh survives to become Freetown's finest." Make sure to also check out his TTB commitment post.