High school is often described as a period of transition for every young person, but the term applies especially well to Jordan Darling.
In 2010, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback distinguished himself at West Chester (OH) Lakota West as one of the rising prospects at the position in the Class of 2013.
But he comes from a military family; his mother, Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Darling, is currently serving in Afghanistan. His father, Bill, is retired military.
When Leslie was reassigned to Fort Hood in Texas back in January 2011, the family gave Jordan the option of staying at Lakota West. The Darlings are an extremely close-knit family, however, and he wanted to be as close to his mother as possible. So last spring the family moved to Waco, Texas, where he enrolled at Midway High School.
Fast forward a year and change to Wednesday, and the Darlings are once again unpacking their bags - this time in Kansas City, after Leslie was transferred to Fort Leavenworth. Now enrolled at Prairie Village (KS) Shawnee Mission East, Jordan has only had a couple of days - literally - to get adjusted to the change, but so far things are going smoothly.
"You don't really get used to it, but it's very exciting," he said, of moving. "The people here at Shawnee Mission East and the coaches have been nothing but nice and accepting, and they've made the transition as smooth as it can be. I'm just grateful toward everyone there."
It helps that the family has a long-standing relationship with Lancers head coach Chip Sherman, who is something of an anomaly on the Kansas side of the state line from a football philosophy perspective, with his wide open, spread attack.
"We agreed we wouldn't want to play for anyone else other than Coach Sherman," Darling said. "Me and my family, we've known him since seventh grade. I think it's a great fit, and so do the coaches."
In late February, Darling received his first BCS scholarship offer - from Head Coach Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks.
The big signal-caller was understandably excited, and has only grown more so as his relationship with the Kansas staff has developed in the weeks since. He has remained in close contact with quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus.
"I'm higher (on the Jayhawks) now than I was then," Darling said. "I's a great experience and, like I said, whenever I contact Coach Powlus we just have some great talks. Not just about football, but about other things in life. he tells me about the Kansas program and it's real exciting."
That Kansas was the first program to step forward with an offer is something that he appreciates and respects, as it shows that Weis and program believed in him early.
"It means a tremendous amount to me," Darling said. "That's what me and my family are all about - belief in my and my abilities as a quarterback."