Darian Durant, a Florence, South Carolina native, is looking forward to returning to his home state this Saturday as North Carolina travels to play the Clemson Tigers.
He has a lot a friends and former teammates on the Clemson team. Wide receiver Derrick Hamilton, cornerback Brian Mance, and defensive end Maurice Fountain, are all former teammates. He is acquainted with other Clemson Tigers like running back Keith Kelly, safety Eric Meekins, and cornerback Kevin Johnson, among others.
He also knows Woody Dantzler, and has a connection to the Tiger quarterback – they played for the same high school coach. Coach Daryl Page directed the Orangeburg Wilkinson football team where Dantzler amassed over 11,000 yards of total offense during his career.
Page then took the head coaching position at Wilson High School in Florence, where Durant passed for over 7,000 yards in a high school career that was interrupted in the fourth game of his senior year when he broke a bone in his left leg.
Durant would return to play four more games his senior season. Clemson started showing increased interest in Durant when he made an amazing comeback after his injury.
"It was after when I made a strong comeback, a lot of people thought that with the severity of my injury I wouldn't make it back in time and be as effective as before I got hurt," said Durant, "Once they found out I could do some of the things I did before I got hurt, they hopped back on."
Ultimately, the Clemson staff would back off recruiting Durant, and he feels he has something to prove. "I think that I have a lot to prove to that staff because they backed off of me and I was considering them at one time. I also want to play well for Coach O'Cain, because last year he never gave me an opportunity to do anything."
Durant has nothing but praise for the atmosphere at Death Valley, "It is going to be crazy. I think those are the best fans anybody has ever had, they're loud and energetic and they never stop cheering. It is going to be fun place to play in."
Durant looks forward to return
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