Darlington Talks UF Junior Day

True centers are hard to find, so when they come along as talented as Ty Darlington, you take notice. The 6-3, 274-pound snapper from Apopka (FL) visited Gainesville for Junior Day on Saturday and came away impressed with what he saw. It was his first chance to meet any of the Florida coaches and he gave Scout.com a recap of his day at Florida.

Junior Day is all about getting to know the people and places surrounding the Florida Gators football program. That was pretty much accomplished with Ty Darlington, Apopka's star center prospect.

"We met the coaches and took a tour of the facilities and everything, it was a good experience," Darlington told Scout.com Saturday night.

The Gators need offensive linemen and Darlington is one of the best. However, it appears that Florida is looking for more help at tackle than inside.

"I got to talk to coach Muschamp and they will just continue with the evaluation process," he said. "They like that I am a well-rounded player because of my academics."

"He told me they were going to sign five offensive linemen and just one interior guy. If they are only going to dole out one for guard and center, then they have to do that carefully and not just throw out offers."

Florida offensive line coach Frank Veducci had his hands full with over a dozen linemen in on Saturday, but he found time to try and give the group a taste of what he bring to the table.

"I briefly just introduced myself (to coach Verducci), it was like a position meeting and there were a lot of offensive linemen," Darlington said. "He was telling us about his philosophy on coaching and his experience. He was an impressive guy with all the experience he has."

The son of Apopka head coach Rick Darlington, Ty already has 26 offers, the latest coming from Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He has an idea of what he wants in a college program.

"I want to go somewhere that I have a chance to win," he said. "I want to win championships wherever I go. My position coach and coaching staff and the chemistry I have with them is a big deal. Those are the people I will be around the most for the next four or five years.

Playing time does not seem to be an issue for Darlington.

"Anyone would say they want a chance to play and not sit behind a bunch of guys, but I am not looking to be handed anything," he said.

If there is a favorite, it may be the Sooners from Oklahoma, and for good reason.

"I am an Oklahoma fan," he said. "My mom was a cheerleader there and all her family lives in Oklahoma. I went to camp there in June and they offered me. I also went out to a game there. I already pledged to play in the US Army All-American game and we will probably go out to Oklahoma before the game to either see them or visit family."

He will most likely visit a few more schools before the fall.

"I may try and go down to Miami next week and Auburn's spring game whenever that is," he said. "I will probably go to some places close by."

A talent like Darlington doesn't come along very often at the center position and especially in this close to the Gators' backyard. The Oklahoma Sooners will be tough to beat, but expect Darlington to be recruited hard by the Gators before all is said and done.


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