Three years ago, when Jordan Darling came to the realization that a college football career might be in his future, he turned to his parents to help him begin the evaluation process.
Bill and Leslie Darling have been with him every step of the way since, and so the big quarterback from Prairie Village (KS) Shawnee Mission East knew when it came time to put an end to things, the only way he was going to do so was with his parents by his side.
That's why the trio made an impromptu trip to Lawrence, Kan. on Monday night. Because Jordan is now a Kansas Jayhawk.
"I finished it with my family," Darling said. "We started as a family and I believed it was right - we finished it as a family."
The strong-armed signal-caller had been holding offers from both in-state programs, Kansas and Kansas State, for a few weeks. He'd made visits to both and developed relationships with both coaching staffs.
It was a difficult decision, for a number of reasons. Though the two programs run contrasting styles of offense, he felt he was capable of succeeding in both. And both coaching staffs treated him with the utmost respect and integrity - a point driven home by both father and son.
"Both Charlie Weis and Ron Powlus, they're men of great character and integrity," Bill Darling said. "Along with Bill Snyder and Bill Miller (of Kansas State), this was a very difficult choice. Both coaches have great character, and I would trust my son with either of these staffs. However, at the end of the day Jordan felt the system that fit him better was Kansas."
Powlus, the quarterbacks coach at Kansas, was Darling's lead recruiter with the Jayhawks, and the two forged a strong bond.
"Not only do we have a great relationship football-wise, we really get along well," he explained. "And aside from that I really respect him. He did it himself. He did great things in high school and in college at Notre Dame he broke records."
That same respect carried over to Weis, who has mentored so many great quarterbacks during his career at the college and professional levels.
As Bill Darling alluded, that penchant for getting the most out of field generals was an extremely important factor in Jordan's recruitment.
"I consider myself a pro-style quarterback," he said. "Coach Weis is known for quarterbacks. It fit really just like a glove, and the way that they're going to run their offense is tailor-made and suited toward me."
"I think any parent in the country can trust their son with the Kansas coaching staff," Bill Darling added.
With his decision made, Jordan is now eager to focus exclusively on a summer bonding with his new teammates - he transferred to Shawnee Mission East in the spring - and devoting every ounce of his energy to a successful senior campaign.
Afterward, it wasn't so much relief that he experienced, he said, but more a sense that everything had at last fallen into place.
"After committing, it felt right," Darling said. "And I'm just really excited that I can really look forward to and give everything to my senior year and those players for who this might be their last year to play organized football. I just want to give everything I have."
"I'm fortunate and humbled that I'm considered capable of playing for Kansas, and I want to be a part of that turnaround," he added. "I'm nothing but ecstatic and excited for what the future holds."