All-Star report - Jake Darling

It was hard to find a guy with a wider smile Saturday than Snohomish's Jake Darling. Not only was he on the winning end of the East-West All-Star game, but he had a lot of fun getting there. For the 5-11, 185-pound Darling, just consider it another notch in his belt, another chance played out to the max. And he's hoping some coaches in Seattle have been taking notes.

"That's why I wanted to come down here and play well, show people that I've got what it takes a little bit," Darling told Dawgman.com after the West handed the East team a serious defeat, 42-6. "And plus it was fun playing with my teammates - Tahj Bomar, Derrick Bradley. They are athletes.

"If I have to get ready by myself, then that's what I've got to do. If I can get some help from the coaches and do it that route, I'd take that too. I'd be more than grateful. I've been talking to Coach Heater down at U-Dub and they've been kinda busy with getting this whole coaching thing settled. He hasn't really told me much but he's trying to get me in with the August 6th group (invited walk-ons). I'm going to go on vacation for a little bit, but then it's weight room, weight room, weight room - sprint, sprint, sprint. I'm going to try and put some pounds on for those big boys. I'll be walking on, so I have to work twice as hard as everybody else."

When watching Jake play, the comparisons to another Husky walk-on, Owen Biddle, are hard to ignore. "I'll tell you one thing, last season I played all season injured on a hurt ankle and a separated shoulder and I never really got a chance to pop someone all year and it drove me crazy," Jake said. "I just wanted to come out here and I didn't care what I did - I just wanted to flatback someone. And I did that to a couple of linebackers on some iso's and got a few nice QB sacks, caused some fumbles and had a blast."

Darling's athleticism and versatility is underrated, and was put to the test during the game. Darling came through like the trooper he is. "I'm not used to rushing like that because I played corner all year," he said. "They told us that we needed some linebackers and I was all-conference as a linebacker my junior year, so I said, 'Heck, I'm ready,' 'cause I was ready to hit somebody. I was dropping back and they were like, 'No, you're not going to drop back,'. So I got the whole rush thing figured out. Man I loved that! I could do that all the time."

The Huskies will start Darling out at safety. "I don't care where I play," he said.

"All I need is a shot."

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