Junior Jamar Darboe (Christchurch, Va.) is a rising star in Virginia, the 6-foot-1, 233-pound inside linebacker coming off a huge 2016 campaign. In eight games, the versatile athlete recorded around 90 tackles and had two defensive touchdowns, to go along with seven more scores as a running back.
And once his film was released, the University of Maryland became the first program to extend a scholarship offer Dec. 3.
“It was around 7 a.m. and I was sleeping, but then my phone started blowing up. I read my phone and there were all these texts from my coach telling me I had the offer,” Darboe said. “I started yelling, crying, all of that. It was a very emotional moment for myself and my family.
“What happened was Coach [Mike] London from Maryland told my coach the news, and then I texted Coach London right away. I didn’t get a chance to really talk to him yet, but he told me I had the offer. I’m very blessed and very excited.”
Although Darboe didn’t speak to London extensively yet, the recruit’s head coach gave him the lowdown.
“My coach told me he watched my film, enjoyed it, and loves my size, aggressiveness and athleticism,” Darboe said. “And he likes how I can play multiple positions. I’m being recruited for linebacker, but I’m an athlete and can play everywhere. He loved that about me, and he told my coach he wanted me to be part of the family.”
Darboe has actually met London and various other Maryland staffers before. He was first in College Park, Md., during his sophomore year and then returned for the UMD-Ohio State game in November.
“I met Coach London and the Director of Recruiting [Marcus Berry] when I was there, and I liked them both. Coach London is a great guy, a cool guy and a spiritual guy. He’s very down to earth and you can talk to him about anything. I really like Coach London, and my mom and grandmother like him too,” Darboe said. “He has a great resume, he’s been the head coach of an ACC program, and I’d love for him to be my coach. I haven’t really built a relationship with the linebackers’ coach, Coach [Matt] Barnes yet, but I plan to in the future.”
The Christchurch native went on to talk up College Park and his experiences on campus. He plans to return to UMD at some point this offseason.
“I really loved the campus, it’s a great stadium and it’s great fans. All the fans there are great and they were talking to me and telling me to join Maryland,” Darboe said. “They were showing me love and it was just a great family environment there.”
Besides Maryland, Darboe has visited UNC for its game against Pitt (“that was a crazy game, I loved it,” Darboe said) and a few other smaller nearby schools like Norfolk State and William & Mary. Coming up, he wants to see UVA, Va Tech, ODU and UNC Charlotte.
“I’m getting a lot of interest from UVA, UNC Charlotte, Va Tech, Indiana, Old Dominion and UNC,” Darboe said. “UNC would be really high on my list. I hope they offer.
“But right now it’s very early for me. I’m just taking everything in.”