Darlington has been talked about amongst Sooner fans since receiving his offer from Oklahoma back in the summer before his junior season. After hearing he grew up a Sooner fan and had family all around the Sooners backyard the Sooner Faithful were on the edge of their seats waiting for Darlington's commitment.
His decision took some time however with programs like Auburn and Miami pursuing Darlington hard as well. Darlington had plenty of options to choose from but in the end deep down in his heart he knew where he wanted to go and it was right there in front of him the whole time.
"It was just one of those things it just had sort of been baking for a while," Darlington said. "I just sort of felt like it was time to follow my heart. I grew up dreaming of becoming a Sooner. I got the offer from them last summer and then I was really looking at some other schools and taking some visits and everything. After preying about it and talking with my family I just realized that my dream was sort of right in front of me. I didn't need to look anywhere else and then I decided it's where I wanted to go."
When Darlington decided to commit to the Sooners there were plenty of phone calls that needed to be made.
"I called Coach Patton, the offensive line coach. I talked to Coach Stoops the next day. I called Coach Patton first and let him know and then I talked to Coach Kittle and he was with Coach Patton. Then I called some family because my entire family lives around Norman and Oklahoma City. So I called them and they were all ecstatic," Darlington stated.
Darlington, who ranks as the number three center prospect in the country on Scout.com talked about maybe trying to visit Norman during the summer time but that will not happen. Instead the 6-foot-3 and 275-pounder will wait for his official visit.
"I've already been there twice on our own money I mean so we really can't afford to go out there. And I don't really need to go out there I mean I have made my decision and I have been there a couple of times," Darlington explained. "I'll be there for an official visit in the fall. One of the side effects of me making a decision is now I can focus on my season. I don't have to take anymore visit and I don't have to take anymore phone calls. I'm free to be the leader of our team."
Darlington definitely appears to have the right mindset and attitude that you need to be successful along with his work ethic. In the weight room Darlington currently squats about 550-pounds, cleans around 310-pounds and benches 315-pounds.
The classroom is where Darlington will really blow you away. At the moment he sports a 4.93 GPA and says he expects that to be in the fives next year. Darlington could easily graduate early with those numbers however he will not take that road and his reason for that isn't something you hear very often.
It's because he wants to be is his class Valedictorian and currently is at the moment.
"Right now I'm the Valedictorian of my class and if I were to try and graduate early I wouldn't be able to take any AP classes next year," Darlington said. "And I would lose my ranking and everything. I'm already fighting to keep that ranking and there is a good chance that I could drop to Salutatorian. I can't really afford to graduate early and lose that. I have been working towards that for about four years."
Darlington still has his senior year to go at Apopka HS but once that is over winning championships and beating Texas are just a few things he would like to do as a Sooner.
"I'm really going to come in trying to work and just be a part of the team. Hopefully I'll push to play somewhere early but I understand that I have to pay my dues. I just want to get in there and give 100 percent effort and do whatever I can to help the team. And hopefully along the line somewhere we will be able to win some championships and beat Texas and all that good stuff."
Darlington was a big pickup for the Sooners and continues the success the Sooners have had in the state of Florida.