"The coaching staff is great," said Darden. "I toured the campus today, and I loved everything about it. I just feel at home everytime I go there."
Darden attended three camps at NC State this summer where he had a chance to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff.
"There’s a lot of excitement there, and I just like the atmosphere," Darden said. "I felt like our team did a good job and I felt like I played well. I really enjoyed being there.
"(Running backs) coach (Desmond) Kitchings is recruiting me and we have a good relationship, and I really like him, too."
Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Darden plays tight end and defensive end for C.B. Aycock, but he projects to play tight end for the Wolfpack.
Darden totaled 35 catches for 320 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore. He also tallied 37 tackles, five tackles for a loss, and three sacks defensively.
"Darden is a big target at tight end," said Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Michael Clark. "He does a nice job of getting in and out of his routes. Darden displays good concentration and catches the ball very well.
"Once the ball is in his hands, he shows good strength and is tough to tackle. He needs to continue to work on his speed and blocking, but he has a good upside and his best football is ahead of him."
He is the Wolfpack's second commitment in the 2017 recruiting class, joining Mooresville (NC) cornerback Chris Ingram.