OL - 6'5 330 - Miami, FL (Miami Central)
4 star recruit and ranked as the 7th best guard in the country by ESPN.
Played both guard and tackle in high school, and led the way for a pair of 5 star backs in Joe Yearby and Dalvin Cook.
More than likely projects to play G at the next level.
Not the fastest guy you will see, even for an offensive lineman, but combines outstanding technique, raw power, and his massive frame to maul as a run blocker and provide solid protection on passing plays.
Chances He Redshirts (1-10) - 2
As part of this series we will evaluate if the given newcomer stands a chance to sit out his first season to retain eligibility.
It would be nice to tuck this big talented kid away for a year and have him ready to compete for a starting job next season, but UM's O line while front loaded with talent is not particularly deep. Darling looks the part of a guy ready to roll, and as an early enrollee he participated in spring practice (he saw time with the 2nd team O line most days). He should see the field as a back-up G very early on.
Summary: No matter who you have at the skill positions, you need sound play up front to win. Miami is stockpiling very good big men on the O line, and Darling is no exception. The scary thing is, he will get stronger and better in UM's strength and conditioning programs. This kid has a chance to be a special offensive lineman and continue the excellent G play the 'Canes have gotten from the likes of Brandon Linder and Jon Feliciano the past few years.
Stay tuned for more Freshman profiles as we count down to Louisville on Labor Day.