Thanks for the suggestions...
Someone else I was talking with suggested the darker areas on the back of the print may be due to the fact the paper wasn't dried completely after coating... This makes sense, considering how soon I started the exposure after application.
I'll try a few more test prints this weekend without sizing, and see how it works out.
I'll also work on a proper exposure time keeping your suggestions in mind. You are correct, in that I'm using digital negatives from scans. But during exposure I used a blank negative to account for it during exposure. I understand if you'd like to move the topic to the subforum. The reason I posted here was because it was more general questions about exposure / paper, as oppsed to any questions about digital processes.
Thanks again everyone.