Zack Darlington visited NU for the school's Quarterback Academy, then committed upon his return for Big Red Weekend on June 14.
Darlington led Apopka to a 13-2 record and the Florida 8A state title as a junior, throwing for 1,725 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 708 yards and 10 scores. He had offers to Ohio State, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech, among others.
The No. 1 player in the Orlando Sentinel’s 2014 Central Florida Super60, Darlington has been working hard in the offseason on his speed and strength. He gained close to 10 pounds since last season and has his 40-yard-dash time down to 4.43 seconds, according to the Sentinel.
When he received his NU scholarship offer in March 2013, Darlington told the Sentinel that he knows his Huskers.
“It’s a really big (offer) because I really like Nebraska,” said Darlington, whose recruitment was led by NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck. “I always watched them growing up and they had some really good quarterbacks like Scott Frost and Eric Couch, so to get an offer from them is really awesome.”
His high school coach and father, Rick, is a lifelong Nebraska fan, and thinks his son will bring good qualities to Lincoln.
“He’s a winner and he’s a leader,” Rick Darlington said. “His intangibles outweigh the tangibles. He cares a lot about his teammates."
Darlington became the fifth member of NU's 2014 class, but two concussions suffered last summer — the first a freak accident, the second on national TV — canceled his senior season at Apopka.
Husker coach Bo Pelini said he'd honor Darlington's scholarship even if the 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback never suited up. Pelini guaranteed that, Darlington said, “about as fast as you possibly can.” While Darlington was still in Spartanburg (S.C.) Regional Medical Center, in fact, recovering from a hit he took in an Aug. 24, ESPN-televised game between Apopka and Byrnes (S.C.).
Darlington enrolled at NU for the spring semester of 2014, so he'll be at camp with the Huskers this spring as they look to find a replacement for four-year starter Taylor Martinez.
* * *
MORE FROM OMAHA.COM
* * *
Highlights from Darlington's junior year:
Photo Credit: The Orlando Sentinel