Jack Darby will go down as the quietest addition to the Toledo Rockets' football program. However, he'll likely be one of the first to see the field as their long snapper. One of the biggest questions in many recruiting classes each season are who will fill the voids on special teams: kicking, punting, and snapping. Now, we have one of those questions answered. A one time Western Michigan commit, Darby found himself always looking at Toledo.
"I was originally committed to Western Michigan and went to their spring game," Darby told us, "I really didn't like it. I contacted Coach Discher (Special Teams Coordinator) and next thing I know, I'm on a visit. It seemed that the coaching staff was much more interested in special teams and that was a big factor for me. I also liked the campus and facilities much better and I realized Toledo was much better fit for me."
The Batavia, Illinois product will join the 2017 recruiting class in Toledo after a bit of a recruiting battle between the Rockets and Broncos for his services.
"Toledo recruited me very late in the process and when Western Michigan offered me, they said I only had a day to decide so I went with them because I didn't know much about Toledo and they hadn't offered me yet," Darby said about his commitment to Western Michigan. "But right after the WMU spring game, I let Coach Discher know that I was not happy with the situation I was in and we started talking again."
The future Rocket has been snapping football since seventh grade and has been receiving weekly instruction from long snapping instructor, Nolan Owen in Illinois. Darby tells us he expects to redshirt during his freshman campaign this fall and then hopes to compete for the starting spot in his second season. Darby is unsure if he will get to the Glass City this summer with the rest of the 2017 recruiting class, a class that brought home No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference according to Scout.com and several others or wait until the fall. Either way, he's ready to arrive.
"I'm extremely excited and I can't wait to be a Rocket!" Darby added as his message to Toledo fans.
Pay attention to the art of special teams, Rocket fans as that's where many programs win and lose football games. It seems as if the Rockets have their future long snapper and may have bolstered their special teams for the future. We'll have the latest.