Feb. 6, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State’s 2012 signing class features three student-athletes that will compete in multiple sports during their time in Tallahassee and Ronald Darby is one of them.
Like fellow signee Marvin Bracy, Darby is one of the fastest high school athletes in the entire country and he will utilize his speed for both the football and track & field programs.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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For the football team, Darby’s addition means that the ‘Noles have one more speedster in the secondary that provides depth and can fight for immediate playing time after the graduation of Mike Harris and the transfer of Avis Commack.
Since taking over the football program, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher has worked to form a team built around the foundation of a stout defensive line. But having talent in the secondary is critical as well.
“The guys that put their hand in the dirt change the game and also corners,” Fisher said. “That’s why that last commitment (Darby was the final signee of the day on Feb. 1.) was huge.”
In addition to working his way into the cornerback rotation, Darby, whom Fisher added is “great with the ball in his hand,” will get the opportunity to use his speed for FSU’s special team’s unit.
The Oxon Hill, Md. native was rated a five-star prospect and the nations No. 1-ranked cornerback by both 247Sports.com and Scout.com in part because of his wiggle and moves while carrying the football — an ability that will surely come in handy on kickoff and punt returns.
“He gets an angle on you, he’s gone,” said FSU defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins, who served as Darby’s primary recruiter. “He’s very dynamic.”
Darby will also be a welcome addition to the Florida State’s track & field program not just because of his talent but because of whom he helps replace. After the outdoor season, the track program will lose 200-meters national champion Maurice Mitchell — a significant blow for a team that competes for national titles every season.
Darby excels in the 200 and will help fill that void for the 2013 campaign.
You’re getting two of the best guys that we’ve ever gotten, and they’re football players, which obviously makes our team unbelievably strong,” FSU track & field coach Bob Braman said about Darby and Bracy.
Number watch: Few things are certain when it comes to predicting the jersey numbers of incoming players but with Darby there’s no question he can’t wear the No. 25 he sported in high school as it’s retired in honor of Fred Biletnikoff. Instead, Darby will have his choice of several numbers common for defensive backs: single digits up to No. 49.