Photo courtesy Vincennes University

'Superhero' Darrington commits to Tennessee

Can the newest member of the 2017 recruiting class be the "superhero" that Tennessee coach Rick Barnes seeks?

The message was loud and clear from Tennessee coach Rick Barnes when junior-college standout Chris Darrington arrived in Knoxville for an official visit April 21. 

Barnes told the 6-foot-1 point guard from Vincennes University that he needed him to be a floor general, a player that could score late in the shot clock and he needed a "Batman" on his team.

"If coach Barnes needs me to be Batman then that is what I will be," the first-team NJCCAA All-American told InsideTennessee. "I am just trying to do what it takes to win."

It was during that weekend that Darrington started to feel like Knoxville was home. The first thing that caught his attention was having the entire staff return to campus for the official visit after being on the road recruiting.

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Another key factor in selling the Vols' fourth member of the 2017 class was the feeling he got for the coaching staff off the court.

"They really care about you both as a player and a person off the court," Darrington said. "That is important because sooner or later that basketball is going to stop bouncing.

"The staff and players were great as both were a big part of my decision."

Grant Williams hosted the Toledo, Ohio, product and also enjoyed spending time with fellow guard, Lamonte Turner,  as they even got to mix it up on the court during the visit.

The factor that put the Big Orange over the top in Darrington's recruitment was the experience of attending the DISH Orange and White spring football game where the Vol fans made an big impact.

"I am big into feeling wanted, needed, loved and appreciated and the fans treated the players that way at Tennessee. I loved how the fans interacted with the players," the Scott High (Ohio) School product said.

Darrington enjoyed a stellar sophomore year for the Trailblazers, averaging 20.7 points and 5.0 assist per game. The ball-handler owned better than a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He can score from the outside, shooting 43.3 percent from beyond (90 for 208). 

The floor general led the Trailblazers all the way to the NJCCAA national tournament and to a 32-3 overall record.

"I want to thank coach (Todd) Franklin for all he has done for me on and off the court. He has helped me become a better person and player and he helped me have this opportunity," Darrington said of his head coach at Vincennes University.

Darrington joins Zach Kent, Yves Pons and Derrick Walker as members of the 2017 recruiting class for the Volunteers.

Photo by Danny Parker

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