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It hasn't always been that way for Darling. In fact, this is a prospect that has really improve his game over the past 12 months or so.
"I have worked hard and improved in a bunch of areas of my game over the past year," Darling said. "But mainly it's been my footwork and endurance. Overall, I have come a long way but I still have a lot of work to do."
The 6-foot-5 and 325-pounder is far from a finished product. He's currently out west at The Opening, showcasing his talents against the nation's top recruits. In today's one on one sessions against the defensive linemen he took on another Miami standout in defensive end Chad Thomas (Booker T. Washington). In the end they split their two reps.
"That was some good stuff," Darling said. "That's Chad. He's a good player, a good defensive end. He got me that first time but I got him the next time."
Darling is mild mannered and soft spoke off the field. But that changes once he throws on his helmet. On the gridiron he's mean and nasty as they come.
"I do play with that mean streak," Darling said. "There's that time, when you know you have to play, where things change for me. To play on this game, especially in Miami, you have to have that mean streak."
Darling made an early pledge to the hometown ‘Canes. He said he may camp at Friday Night Lights in Gainesville later this month. Still, it will take a gargantuan effort to pry him away from Miami.
"Yea, it would," Darling said. "They are really the only team that's recruiting me outside of Miami and to be honest, I would like to check them out and see something new and a little different.
"But I am committed to Miami. That's important to me. That's important to my family. We are a tight family and it's special. We are putting together a great class and a great offensive line class. It will be awesome to play with those guys."