Meet Will Darkins
June 9, 2009
Will Darkins is moving to the offensive side of the ball this season in a role at fullback after coming to Oregon State as a linebacker. It has been a quick transition, but Darkins has hit the playbooks as hard as he hits the badminton courts and is poised to make an impact for the Beaver football program this year.
You started out playing linebacker at Oregon State and now are to fullback. What has that transition been like?
It has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. In the beginning I thought, looking at the offense, it can be pretty complex because of all the terms and all of the different formations, but since I started putting my nose in the books and really getting at it, it has really worked out well for me in the spring.
You played both sides of the ball in high school. Have you wanted to get to the offensive side of the ball since you got here?
I love the defensive side of the ball. I love playing linebacker. After awhile it seemed like there needed to be some kind of transition for me. I wasn’t getting much playing time on the other side, and I felt I could do a better job playing offense, blocking, maybe running the ball a little bit, maybe catch some balls. I thought maybe that is where I could put my skills, really I was just taking a chance on it and so far it has worked.
What has it been like playing for Coach Riley?
I love it. It’s great. It is a lot different than any other coach I have ever had. Coach Riley is more of a guy you have to learn to trust. At first he seems like he is really not one of those guys that is really the hard needle and going to yell at you or spit in your face. But you learn to trust him and trust the words he is saying and the direction he is guiding you. It ends up working. He is cool, calm and collected and easy to learn from. It’s great.
What have you enjoyed most about being at Oregon State?
I’d say the biggest thing I like is probably the student body. Everybody I have met here I really like. It has been really fun. I’ve met a lot of new people, I’ve made a lot of friends. It has just been a really good experience.
In your words, who is Will Darkins?
Unpredictable. Hustle. Joker.
Is there anyone in the football world that you model yourself after, or you see as a significant influence?
I would have to say Mike Alstott. I know that is kind of generic and predictable, but the guy played running back and fullback far better than a lot of regular running backs in the league. He played for so long putting himself out there. He is kind of the definition if you work hard. So I just try to think about that when I get on the football field. If you keep your motor running, keep yourself out there you are going to give yourself more opportunities and play more.
What do you do when you aren’t playing football or not in class?
I play badminton and throw the Frisbee around.
How did you get into badminton?
I was really good in high school and basically I just got a lot better in college. I just kept playing. Pretty much on the weekends I’ll go over (to Dixon) and start picking up some games with anybody. I also play with my roommates a lot. It’s just something that’s really fun to do.
What can we expect from Will Darkins this season?
Whatever the team needs me to do. My only goal is that I accomplish everything I need to do to help make this team win. If I just keep doing what the coaching staff wants me to do and I keep playing my role on the team to help make them win I’ve done all I could.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I like to get to the game, listen to some music and talk with the other players. I’m a pretty mellow guy. I don’t really concentrate too much on the pressure of the game. I’m just out there to play. I try to keep it level headed as much as I can.
If you didn’t play football, what sport would you play?
Badminton. I love playing it. It’s really fun. Being taller than everybody else out there really helps. I need to lose a lot of weight though if I want to be more competitive. Sometimes it gets a little serious out here with football, but with badminton it is completely all fun.
To catch up on all of the Meet the Beavers interviews from this season click here.
Beaver Fun Fact: ESPN GameDay features three times during the season.
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