What's not to like? He is 6' 5", has a strong arm, plays at the highest level of Indiana H.S. football (the Metropolitan Scholastic Conference), and is a student of the game (son of a coach).
When I went to watch the Indiana 7 on 7 team, I asked someone who the tall kid was throwing the ball. I had seen Derek play twice last season against Center Grove, but he was now taller and thicker. His arm strength had improved in the last 6 months.
I have written several articles about Warren Central football. Derek is the son of Warren Central's head coach, John Hart. Having the head coach as your father is always bothersome because of general jealousy, so I decided to go around dad to ask how Derek's recruitment is going. I have made the statement several times that in the class of 2010, there is a log jam of quarterbacks. Derek could be poised to have his breakout season.
In 2008, Derek threw for 1,304 yards on a team that had been known for being a spread option team. Warren Central has athletes who can catch the ball. During his best game of the season, he lit up the airwaves for 264 yards against North Central. He threw for 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions for the season. What he is going to bring to the table in 2009 is a year of experience and confidence. When you talk to Warren Central's receivers, they exude a genuine desire to catch the ball.
College football coaches are not permitted to comment on players to recruiting sites. But one area of excitement for Derek (as he reported to Indiana Varsity Scout) is that he sent some game film to a friend who is the offensive coordinator for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Shawn Watson. Coach Watson watched the film and was impressed enough that he will be at Warren Central during the contact period, using the permitted time to work Derek out as a recruit for Nebraska.
Louisville also has expressed interest in Derek. Louisville assistant coach Jeff Lewis told Derek that he liked his footwork and mechanics. Louisville has offered a quarterback, but Lewis believes that Hart is a solid choice as well. If that recruit goes elsewhere, Hart would be a positive choice for the Louisville Cardinals.
Hart has been invited to the scout.com combine in Cincinnati, but will be in State College, PA, for the Nike Elite 11 workout. Though Penn State was not mentioned as an opportunity for Hart, IVS learned that Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue have him on their recruiting radar. What may have been a log jam of Indiana H.S. quarterback talent just might have seen a breakout on the recruiting radar.