After having visited the campus of Syracuse University earlier this spring, running back Devin Darrington became the latest ball carrier to receive an offer from the Orange. The 5-foot-9, 198 pound back is rated as one of the top running backs in the state of Maryland, after rushing for 1,314 yards as a junior last year.
— Devin Darrington (@d_dking34) May 16, 2016
Darrington has been on Syracuse’s radar for awhile, but now the interest level seems to be ramping up. It may be just in time, as well, as Darrington’s beginning to get a lot more attention after an outstanding showing at The Opening regionals. At that event, he was laser timed at 4.52 in the 40 and had a 39 inch vertical, both of which ranked him among the top athletes at the event. His overall Nike+ score was 116.67, which also put him near the top of the rankings.
In fact, that was the top score among running backs at the event, ahead of both Anthony McFarland (a 4-star prospect rated as the No. 34 player in the class of 2017 by Scout), and Tayon Fleet-Davis, who is currently the top RB target on Syracuse’s board.
#1 Nike football rating for RB in DC pic.twitter.com/kwUjl0GbLk
— Devin Darrington (@d_dking34) April 20, 2016
Right now, Darrington only has a handful of Power 5 offers but you can expect that to change moving forward. For now, though, along with Syracuse he holds offers from Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, and Indiana. Qualifying clearly won’t be an issue for Darrington, since he also already holds offers from basically everyone in the Ivy League.
As far as what kind of runner Darrington is, from a physical comparison standpoint perhaps the best comparison would be Tre Bryant, the talented RB from Missouri who Syracuse targeted last year who signed with Nebraska. Like Darrington, Bryant was about 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, very compact and muscular, and a freakish athlete with outstanding quickness.
A lot of Syracuse fans were disappointed when Bryant decided to stay in the Midwest, but given how similar Darrington looks both physically and on film, the Orange could get another shot at that type of player. He’s a good, physical runner who isn’t afraid to throw nasty blocks or run through tacklers, but he also possesses good vision and an ability to cut back and break a defender’s ankles in the open field. Darrington also does a nice job catching the ball out of the backfield, which makes him an even more enticing weapon for the Dino Babers offense.
Syracuse will likely bring in 2-3 running backs in this year’s class, and adding Darrington to the mix would certainly be a very positive development. He’s a terrific athlete with a high upside.