Nebraska has a sweet tooth for state championship quarterbacks.
Senior Taylor Martinez and true freshman Johnny Stanton won high school titles in California. Tommy Armstrong won his in Texas. Friday, the Huskers added to the mix 2014 commit Zack Darlington – who last year delivered a title to Apopka in Florida’s largest class and rebuffed an offer from Ohio State and Urban Meyer to play in Lincoln.
The 6-foot-2, 207-pound three-star prospect – who also held offers from North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among other schools – had long been a target of NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck. Zack and his head coaching father, Rick Darlington – a longtime Husker fan – attended NU’s Quarterback Academy June 7, took the full tour in the following days and then canceled an unofficial visit Friday to Ohio State, which was “surprised and disappointed,” Rick Darlington said.
No such emotions for NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who courted Zack Darlington heavily since Nebraska played in the Capital One Bowl against Georgia. Rick Darlington said Beck’s relationship with Zack was the main reason the father and son made the trip to Lincoln.
“He’s just an amazing man,” Zack said. “He never had to really convince me of anything.”
Once there, they were sold on the entire package.
“The facilities are as good as any in the country, but they don’t brag about it,” Rick Darlington said. “It’s a very classy place.”
Zack Darlington led Apopka to the 8A state title last year, throwing for 1,725 yards and rushing for 708. Zack played almost all of the playoffs, Rick said, with a broken wrist on his throwing hand.
“He’s a winner and he’s a leader,” Rick Darlington said. “His intangibles outweigh the tangibles. He cares a lot about his teammates.
It’s unclear how Darlington’s commit will affect Jackson (Ala.) prospect Matthew Jordan, who made a long trip for the Big Red Weekend. Jordan could play more than one position in college, however, and could fit as a second quarterback taken in the class.