Nebraska wins recruiting battle with OSU for 2014 QB Zack Darlington

Submitted by EGD on June 15th, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Dual-threat QB Zack Darlington of Apopka, FL (hometown of M's own Jeremy Gallon), has chosen Nebraska over offers from the likes of Virginia Tech, Arizona, West Virginia, Auburn, Ole Miss, and--perhaps most significantly--Ohio State.  According to an Orlando Sentinel article covering his committment, Darlington "picked the 'Huskers over Ohio State, much to the dismay of Buckeyes' head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tim Herman, about whom Darlington could not say enough good things."  Darlington is a 4-star on ESPN and a 3-star to the other three. Here is a link to the Orlando Sentinel article.  



June 15th, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

Bud Elliott at SBNation scouted him in April - the full assessment is here (LINK). Here was how he basically summarized Darlington.

"Darlington is a smart, tough player, and the son of a coach. That doesn't guarantee success, but growing up around the game probably can't hurt. Darlington reminds me a bit of a more controlled Taylor Martinez. If used in the right way, he can be very successful."

In the Sentinel article, it's interesting that he relates things to his own upbringing (e.g., pointing out similarities between Pelini and his father) because we've seen it in our own success that the ability of recruits to personally relate to people and things within a program is definitely a positive draw for them. 

Sione's Flow

June 15th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

Congrats to Nebraska and best of luck to Mr. Darlington in his future endeavors, unless he crosses paths with UM.  Then I want him to have the worst game of his life.


June 15th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

I'm pretty sure Ohio will continue to do well. The fact of the matter is, their last two classes, iirc, finished better than Michigan. The big change has been that Michigan recruiting has improved, while Ohio, other than for maybe a year, has consistently been at a pretty high level. I hope that this is the year we pass Ohio (in level of recruits.)

So much of it is luck. Peppers was a Michigan fan for a long time:  that has nothing to do with the recruiting prowess of Michigan. There are kids in Ohio who have always wanted to go there. You win some, and lose some, and it isn't about the kid or the school being bad. It just is how it works out.

It really is true that we are all better off if the entire Big 10 has better recruits. The level of recruits for at least Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Maryland is concerning. Seeing someone like Darlington go to Nebraska is a good thing.


June 16th, 2013 at 8:29 AM ^

Good post with rational comments.  Sorry to the dudes higher on the thread who claim Urban has some fault in his recruiting - everyone does.  I am sure there are guys Saban misses out on as well.  There are only 20-25 kids you can get in any class so by default Urban will lose some.  Did they miss on the OL here or there? Yeah - but the DL is sick.  Until this year we have been hit or miss on the DL for a long time; in fact we have not had a really stud DL for a long time (we've had Martin or Graham but a dominant end rusher or two - not for a long time)   So we have had issues too.   

He is running a different program with a different selling point (I will get you to the NFL and I have NCAA championships in my pocket, and it's all about football here), so just like some of the things a Stanford or Michigan offers would be more attractive to a Hand, there are things Ohio brings that are attractive to a non-Hand.  Sometimes it feels like the board expects Ohio to fall apart or if Urban has a #7 class it's over.  It's just plain silly - Ohio is going to be around, and now Michigan is back to where it should be and we will lose and win some battles head to head.    Best thing for the Big 10 is a lot of years like 2006 in the years ahead- both top dogs getting national attention and en epic battle in late November.

Congrats to Nebraska for bringing this kid in head to head - I'd much rather see however Big 10 teams winning battles over Pac 10 or Big 12 or SEC teams on head to heads.  All this does is move the talent from one B10 squad to another since it seems OSU was his second choice. 


June 15th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

Urban will pull fewer kids out of Florida then Tressel did.  High School coaches and former UF players down here (many involved in high school programs) are well aware of the shenanigans that went on at UF under Meyer.  FL high school coaches were directing players away from UF during Meyer's last few years there. He was having to go out of state more and more for talent.  Maybe he has learned from the past (although it wouldn't bother me one bit if he hasn't).


June 15th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

And a legend in the area. My buddy was the D line coach at a competing area school. When they played each other on espn a few years ago zack was the starter as a freshmen. They were getting handled the first half. Zack got pulled and they rolled to a 60-14 victory. After winning state this year and his brother already in D1, no shock he had his pick of schools. Solid pedigree. Point of the story? Really glad he said fuck ohio.


June 16th, 2013 at 8:42 AM ^

I can't believe Michigan fans taking up for Urban on here screw him the only reason Ohio can have a better class not because of Urban because Michigan won't accept just any GPA like Ohio does