He’s 6’4″ tall. He weighs 230 pounds. And without ever having taken a snap during a game in a SM East uniform, Jordan Darling is already the biggest college football prospect in Lancers history — officially.
The SM East senior on Monday verbally committed to the University of Kansas and first-year Jayhawk head coach Charlie Weis — making him the fourth high school QB to commit for the class of 2013. Darling had also attracted recruiting interest from K-State and Baylor, among others.
Darling spent his formative years in Platte City, Mo., where his brother Matt played for Chip Sherman’s Platte County high school team. About the time Sherman retired from his 20-year stint in Platte, the Darlings were picking up their things to move on account of Darling’s mother’s position with the United States Army.
Sherman said he had a close relationship with the family when they left town. But Jordan was an eighth grader at the time, and Sherman never expected that they’d be in the position to have Jordan play on one of his teams.
But over the Christmas break, Jordan’s father Bill connected with Sherman, and floated the idea of having Jordan play his senior year at SM East. His mother was being transferred to Fort Leavenworth, and he’d spent his junior year at a high school in Waco, Tex., where he’d split snaps with two other quarterbacks.
Sherman says he was excited by the opportunity to work with Darling because, even as a middle schooler, he’d exhibited an exceptional work ethic.
“He’s really good,” Sherman said. “But he’s worked for everything he’s ever gotten. He’s absolutely a consummate worker.”
Darling enrolled at SM East during the spring semester, and has started informal work outs with his new teammates.
“He’s moved around a lot, and I think the kid’s a survivor,” Sherman said. “He’s seen enough to understand that there are bigger things in life than football.”