Where are they now: Teddy Dargan
When Teddy Dargan came up short in the classroom senior year, the plan for the talented Milford Mill defensive tackle was to get as far away from the area as possible.
Mission accomplished. The one-time Maryland commitment has resurfaced 2,550 miles away from Baltimore in Yuma, Ariz., as a member of the Arizona Western College football team.
Dargan, a former Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, was the Terps’ second commitment for the 2008 class, pledging midway through his junior year. When the 6-foot-3, 280-pounder fell short of NCAA qualifying standards, Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick was happy to welcome the four-star prospect to Yuma -- even though it meant waiting another year for Dargan to take the field.
“He actually grayshirted for us in the fall because he didn’t have a diploma from high school,” Minnick said. “So he had to take 11 hours in the fall and he took 12 hours and was eligible after the spring semester here. So his [eligibility] clock started in January. But he had a great spring and he’ll be ready to play this fall, so we can’t wait to see him go.”
Minnick said there’s no question Dargan was disappointed to sit out his first season of junior college football, but over time, he came to understand why he was in that situation. Dargan handled his business in the classroom, and lived up to the hype when he was finally able to suit up for the Matadors in a practice setting.
“He really looked good,” Minnick said. “He’s got that body, 6-3, 6-4, and he can run. He’s got good bounce in his step. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with if he comes in shape and does what he’s supposed to do. That’s the biggest thing because it is hot out here, and it takes a while for kids to get used to the heat, even though we practice and play our games at night. ... It takes some time to adjust, but being here, the key is it keeps him out of trouble. Here you concentrate on your academics and playing football, and then lifting weights and doing everything he needs to do to prepare for the next level. It’s a great opportunity in Yuma to take care of your business.”
Because of his year-long hiatus from the football field, there isn’t much to speak of regarding Dargan’s recruitment. But that should change in a hurry come fall.
“They’ll know about him as soon as he plays,” Minnick said. “And all those people that recruited him in high school, they know where he went. ... So it’ll be up to him if he wants to go back east or have the Pac-10 schools all over him. If he plays well and takes care of his academics, he can go anywhere he wants.”
Dargan’s back in Baltimore for the summer, but will return to Yuma by Aug. 6. He’s penciled in to start for Arizona Western at defensive tackle, provided he spends quality time in the weight room and returns to school in good shape. For Dargan and his coach, a return to the field can’t come soon enough.
“He’s anxious,” Minnick said. “Sitting out last year bugged him, I know it did. It bugged me. ... I just can’t wait. Just another month and a half.”
Baltimore Sun photo of Teddy Dargan by Karl Merton Ferron / Sept. 13, 2006
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