Darius Wade has been operating on an accelerated timetable since the third grade.
So it was no surprise Thursday that he was able to sign a letter of intent three months earlier than most high school football players. Wade made it official in front of a packed house in the Middletown High library, as the 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback accepted a scholarship from Boston College.
“I really kind of began my master plan when I was in third grade,” Wade said. “I was constantly looking forward. I couldn’t wait until I was in high school. When I got to high school, I had to make sure I did things a certain way so I could set myself up to be as successful as I can be.”
The regular signing period begins Feb. 5, but Wade was able to sign Thursday because he will graduate early. His last day at Middletown will be Jan. 9, and his first day of classes at Boston College will be Jan. 13. That will make him eligible for spring practice and could give him a leg up on earning playing time as a freshman.
“He’s a young man with a purpose. He’s got a plan,” Middletown coach Mark DelPercio said. “He’s a very focused young man. I have no doubt that he will be successful at the next level.”
Wade attracted national recruiting interest, choosing Boston College over Nebraska, North Carolina State and a late push from Ohio State. The Eagles are 4-4 going into Saturday’s game at New Mexico State.
“You have to remember that you’re living there for four to five years. That’s going to be your new home,” Wade said. “I needed to go somewhere where I felt comfortable. When I was there, I felt like it was a family atmosphere, a good atmosphere for me to be in.”
Wade has been Middletown’s starting quarterback since his freshman season, when he led the Cavaliers to the Division I state championship game before losing to St. Mark’s. Middletown won Division I titles the next two seasons and is 9-0 going into tonight’s game against Salesianum at Baynard Stadium.
“It was his demeanor, the way he handled himself,” DelPercio said of his decision to start Wade as a freshman. “There was no panic. There were some games that year where he took a beating, but he just continued to get back up. His mental and physical toughness are what impress me the most.”
Wade said he plans to study business or law at Boston College. Now, with his college destination made official, he is eager to play the rest of the season. The Cavaliers are 40-5 over the last four years with Wade behind the center, including a current 23-game winning streak.
“This just makes it that much easier for me to only focus on Middletown, focus on the game [tonight],” Wade said. “Now, college stuff is behind me. It’s Middletown football, high school football, and I’ve got to make sure we end up on a good note.”