National signing day for the University of Alabama was rather low key other than picking up two four…
"He's all muscle."
Scout.com Rating: Three-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 24 Defensive Tackle
Size: 6-foot-3, 330-pounds
High School: York, Ala. (Sumter Central)
Projected Position: Nose Tackle
Stats: Lake recoded 48 tackles, five for loss, and four sacks during his senior season. Teams ran away from Lake this past year who is disruptive up the middle. He had eight sacks as a junior.
Commit Date: 6/18/2011
Recruiting Competition: Tennessee
Strengths/Improvements: "If a player makes a mistake I tell them don't worry about it, and do better next time. I am trying to work on my quickness, hand placement and rushing the passer. If a coach needs a big play to make I am that guy. I can stop the run. I feel like I am a whole lot quicker than I was a year ago. I still need to work on my quickness though.
"Coach Rumph has been telling me he can't wait for me to get there. He wants to work with me on my hand placement, technique and quickness."
Why Alabama: "I like the coaches a lot at Alabama especially coach Rumph. He really gets a lot out of his players, and I like that. Alabama is my favorite school. It's always been my favorite school. I like the coaches and how hard they push the players to reach their goals. They want to make them a better person and player.
"Alabama is close to home. I feel like it's a great place to be. I would say history, national championships and the coaches were big factors for me. I really like the campus. I am excited about getting there. I feel like I can do well up there with the loss of Josh Chapman in the middle. I look forward to getting there."
Coach Quotes: "He's 6-3, 325-pound defensive lineman that is not fat at all," said head coach Andre Pickering. "He's all muscle. He's a very good kid. He's a very athletic kid. He plays basketball really good. He comes from a great, great family. He's just a great kid. He's almost too nice.
"He moves so well that we also play him at fullback and threw the ball to him a couple of times this year. He's a leader too. He never misses a day of practice. He's always at workouts. He is very dependable. He's a great kid.
"He played offensive line and defensive tackle last year , and we didn't want to wear him out this year. We just had him on defensive line, and then certain situations we put him in at fullback, like the goal line. He plays a lot of special teams. He wants to be out there on the field.
"We run a 3-5, and I'm not a 3-5 guy, but since we had Darren this year we went to that because we know he can clog up both of those A-gaps since he's so big and athletic.
"One of his concerns was that his mother is not going to fly anywhere or drive long distance, and he wants her to come to his ball games. Darren lost his father about five-six years ago, and his family is very important to him.
"I believe Darren, years from now, will be doing something great in the NFL or somewhere because he is an outstanding kid and an outstanding student. He got a 25-26 on the ACT. He is an outstanding kid.
"What Coach Saban stands for and what they do at the University of Alabama I know he is going to fit well in that program. He is going to do good."
Andrew Bone says: Lake is a player who burst on the recruiting scene in the summer when he dominated camp sessions at Alabama and Tennessee. He earned offers from both programs following his performance. He is a big, powerful defensive lineman who eats up a lot of space. Lake has a high ceiling with a chance to develop into an elite defensive lineman. He has the size, athleticism and power."
Rebecca Johnston contributed to this report.
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