Darlington upbeat on road to recovery

BRR has an update on Nebraska commitment Zach Darlington, who was knocked unconscious in his opening game of the season and has not played since.

It's been exactly a month since Apopka Senior high school (FL) quarterback Zach Darlington was knocked unconscious in his opening game of the season against Duncan Byrne (S.C.). According to his father Rick Darlington, the Nebraska commitment is upbeat and on the road to recovery.

"He laughs a lot with his teammates and is our scout squad quarterback," said Rick, who's also Apopka's head coach. "He gives the defense a fantastic look. Throws drills, 7-on-7, and 11-on-11 team for the defense."

Zach is currently meeting with a concussion specialist every week and tests are progressing very well. Each time his memory, balance, and reaction time is tested in a state of the art computer simulation.

It's been widely reported Darlington is suffering from a stutter in his speech due to the injury, but some of those reports have been widely exaggerated.

"He rarely stutters," said Rick. "The doctor said nerves or stress trigger it, so when he's comfortable, it doesn't happen."

Darlington, who will graduate early, hopes to participate in Nebraska spring practices. If he does, he won't be taking any hits, which means the earliest he might take a hit will be next fall.

"If he did play in a game as a true freshman, we are talking one year since his last concussion. If he redshirts, at least two years," said Rick Darlington. "That's a lot of time for the brain to heal.

"If the doctors feel he can play safely, he will play. Nebraska is on the forefront of concussion research, so we feel good about where he's committed."

Darlington is currently the nation's No. 30 quarterback in the 2014 class. He committed to Nebraska over offers from Ohio State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Arizona, NC State, and Boston College.

The Husker coaching staff has said they will honor the Florida prospect's offer and if football down the road does not work out, they would more than welcome him as a student coach.

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Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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