Darlington Grew up a Sooner

Sooners Illustrated brings you yet another interview with a 2012 prospect in Ty Darlington from Apopka High in Florida. Darlington actually has family ties to the Sooner program and that could ultimately play a huge role in his recruitment. Check out the update for the full scoop!

Most kids growing up in Florida would be quick to say Florida, Florida State or Miami when asked the question of who their favorite school is.

When talking to Ty Darlington you won't hear any of that.

Instead he grew up a fan of a team in the Big 12 conference, thanks in part to a little brainwashing from his mom according to the 6-foot-3 and 265-pound center prospect.

"My mom was a cheerleader at Oklahoma and then she moved to Florida where she met my dad here. I have grown up an Oklahoma fan. I guess my mom sort of brain washed me or whatever."

A couple weekends ago Darlington was able to get up to Norman and watch the Sooners defeat the Iowa State Cyclones 52-0. Along with seeing the game Darlington says he was also able to see his family that resides in Oklahoma.

"It was fun I really got a lot out of it," Darlington began. "My family lives up there so I sort of got to kill two birds with one stone. Got to see all my family and I went to the game actually with two of my uncles. I got to meet some players and got to know the coaches a little better and got to see the atmosphere and everything."

Darlington is a mauler who blows defenders off the line.
While at the game Darlington was able to hang out and get to know another 2012 offensive line prospect as well as a couple 2011 Sooner commitments.

"There were a couple guys up there," Darlington said. "Evan Boehm was up there, Derek Farniok and Jordan Phillips. The three of us hung out a lot while we were there and spent most of the day together. It's cool to get to know them."

Back in the summer Darlington attended the Oklahoma camp which is where he was able to start getting to know the coach that is handling his recruitment: OU Offensive Line Coach James Patton.

While at the Iowa State game the two were able to talk a little bit more.

"I have gotten to know him pretty good and everything. I went up there for the camp and that's when they offered me. That is when I first got to be around him for practices. I felt like we hit it off a little bit. And I got to go back up a couple weeks ago and sort of built a relationship," Darlington stated.

With the Sooners being Darlington's lifelong favorite does that mean they are his top choice? That could be but for the time being Darlington doesn't want to name a top school since it is so early in the process.

"They are definitely in the top teams," Darlington explained. "I don't know if I want to favor or anything because it is a little bit early. I don't want to limit myself by streaming a couple of schools or anything. They are definitely up there since I have liked them my whole life and everything."

Darlington currently holds 14 offers from schools all around the country like Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida State, Northwestern, Duke, Virginia Tech, Utah and Louisville to name a few.

When it comes time to make a decision Darlington says he definitely wants to play for a team that wins.

"I definitely want to go somewhere that is a winning program," Darlington began. "That is probably the number one thing to me. I come out of a high school program where we are used to winning. And I guess you sort of get used to it and you don't want to do anything else."

"So I want to go somewhere that is going to consistently win. The coaching staff is going to be a huge factor because those are the people I am going to be with for the next four or five years and the players at the school and how I feel with them. And how I think I fit in how they want to do with me."

It's becoming more and more common for kids to graduate early and enroll in school a semester early to get a chance to go through spring ball. Darlington on the other hand isn't leaning that direction but that is actually because of a certain reason that is extremely impressive and boasts well for his work ethic.

"I don't really know," Darlington said when asked if he would enroll early wherever he goes. "Right now I'm like number one in my class. And I don't want to jeopardize that by trying to graduate early. If wherever I decide to go if they really wanted me to then I would definitely consider it. It's not out of the question or anything but right now I'm not really planning to."

Thursday night Darlington was able to showcase his talents in a big game atmosphere when he and his Apopka HS teammates beat Olympia HS to take home the 6A District Five title.

Scout.com expert Greg Powers , who watched Darlington compete at the OU camp over the summer, says that Darlington could add some key versatility to the OU line if he should end up committing to the school.

"Darlington is a guy that I think could play guard or center in college," Powers explained. "I know that OU has some nice young depth with Ben Habern (Soph.) and Austin Woods (Fresh.) at center, but Darlington has some experience there and I think that he could handle the responsibilities of the position. He has good feet and plays with passion. He will need to add some weight and some strength heading in to college to kick out to guard and handle those freaky strong and quick defensive tackles, but we are talking about a guy who is just now getting ready to finish his junior season. His upside is through the roof."

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