Big Red Report has learned that Apopka high school (FL) quarterback Zach Darlington has committed to Nebraska. The soon to be senior is the No. 31 quarterback in the country. He picked the Huskers over offers from Arizona, Ohio State, Southern Miss, Boston College, NC State, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia among others.
Darlington, who is 6-foot-2 and nearly 205-pounds, missed the first four games last season with an ankle injury, but still threw for over 1,700 yards with another 700 yards on the ground. He also found the end zone 29 times through the air and with his feet. In the process, he helped Apopka win a Florida state championship, the same Apopka squad that is coached by Zach's father, Rick Darlington.
“I think he is a good quarterback that could be a great quarterback down the road,” said FOX Sports NEXT National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg, who lives in Florida. “To me he is a Johnny Manziel type of player, a kid with a lot of poise and moxy. He seems like he's at his best when things break down and he's got to make a play.
“He's not the biggest kid in the world, or the fastest, or has the best arm, but he gets the job done. I expect him to have a very good college career.”
Nebraska fans were first introduced to Darlington last season during the Huskers' bowl game, when the 2014 prospect showed up to practices in Orlando in preparation for Georgia. At the time, he talked about his appreciation for the Huskers and that he had been watching them on television for quite some time.
“Playing for one best programs in Central Florida, he obviously has a good understanding for the game,” said Newberg. “He's got a lot of intangibles that don't necessarily show up in the box score.This will certainly help Nebraska with some kids down the road.”
Nebraska's biggest competition for Darlington's services was Ohio State, who is coached by former Florida head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer's name still resonates strongly in Florida and the Buckeyes are not afraid to go into The Sunshine State to try to pluck talent.
“To be honest, I don't know where he was in Ohio State's quarterback pecking order, but straight up you don't see Ohio State lose many kids to Nebraska usually, especially in Florida where Meyer still has a pretty good reputation,” said Newberg. “If it was straight up, that's a bit surprising, but it's still Nebraska. Granted they haven't been like the Nebraska that I grew up with, but they are getting there and Pelini is doing a great job. It's still the Big Red Machine.”
Much more to come regarding Darlington's commitment on Big Red Report in the coming hours.
*** Interview with Darlington conducted by Bryan Munson***
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