Orlando Edgewater defensive tackle Darius Tolbert committed to play at Florida A&M this past weekend and he is excited.
You could hear the pride in Tolbert's voice when he spoke about his decision on Sunday, and the 6-foot-5, 305-pound lineman is thrilled to be able to say he'll be playing college football, but he seemed equally excited to just be able to say he is going to college.
"It feels very good," said Tolbert, who will be the first person in his family to attend college according to former Edgewater coach Dave Wensyel, who informed the Sentinel of the news on Sunday via text message. "FAMU has been with me for a while now and it's really the only school that ever offered me and it's where I wanted to go.
"They really care more about school work and books and working hard inthe classroom while still being committed to football. They help you work hard to keep postive and give it your all."
Tolbert was a little worried about his future after he broke his leg in the final game of the season against Orlando Boone on Nov. 11. He broke his left tibia and it needed surgery to have a metal rod and four pins inserted into the broken bone.
"At first I felt like I probably wasn’t going to be able to play as good as I wanted to play ... but I just got stronger working my legs and everything is much better," Tolbert said. "I'm walking pretty well now. I've been off crutches for about a month and the leg feels great ... feels awesome."
FAMU has been hitting the Central Florida area pretty hard of late. The Rattlers signed several players to their 2012 class from the Orlando area in Kissimmee Osceola OL Reggie Turner, Orlando East River OL Ivan Rios, Orlando Evans DE Romario Chisolm, Orlando Colonial ATH Diante Harrison, Winter SPrings LB Trevor Bone, Orlando Lake Nona WR/DB Victor Lewis and Apopka Wekiva LB Zay Williams.
FAMU expects to sign about 20 players to the 2013 class and there are likely several others from the Central Florida area looking at the Rattlers' program.
Tolbert also said Sunday that his parents were pleased with the news that he would be headed to FAMU.
"They are very happy that I am going to college to play football," he said.
As is his former coach.
"Very excited for him," Wensyel said via text message.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.