Over the past three seasons, Scout.com has tracked senior quarterback Jordan Darling as he has moved from Ohio to Texas, and finally to Prairie Village (Shawnee Mission East), Kansas, where he currently resides.
Darling was given the option by his parents to remain at any high school he has ever attended, but instead he chose to go wherever the military took his family.
Last weekend, the Kansas commit passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns, while leading his team to 30-7 victory over an Olathe North football team that East hasn’t beaten since 1988.
Darling, 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, has now led a team to a victory, passed for over 100 yards, rushed for a touchdown, and thrown a touchdown pass at the varsity level in four different states. No other high school quarterback is known to have accomplished this feat previously.
The National High School sports record book (National Federation of State High School Associations) has never heard of this ever happening before and has no record of this type of accomplishment.
“Few high school quarterbacks could ever compete in four different schools,” said his older brother, Anthony Darling. “Even an NFL quarterback would have difficulties adjusting to a different state, offense, coaching staff and team each year for four years. All his experiences and struggles have made him a stronger quarterback and better person. He has worked so hard to keep his 3.5 GPA from school to school.”
"He has worked extremely hard, and is someone quick to forgive, forget and move on. It’s one of his traits I admire most,” Anthony Darling concluded. “He is what’s right about high school football and I’m proud to call him my brother.”
Darling is coached at Shawnee Mission East by head coach Chip Sherman, and offensive coordinator Sam Brown, both members of the Missouri High School Football Hall of Fame, with 70 years of coaching experience between the two of them.
“Coach Brown and I agree you won’t find a harder worker, better teammate or smarter quarterback. We have given Jordan the green light to audible any play we call with the exception of fourth down. I’ll keep that one.” Sherman said with chuckle.
(Darling and Sherman)
“This kid has embraced the responsibility given to him and is making great reads and decisions. He doesn’t look to call his own number first, rather he is someone who puts the team first,” Sherman added. “His parents, Bill and Leslie, have done a great job with him. In my 34 years of coaching, Jordan Darling is the most coachable player I have ever had.”
When his preps football days are over, Darling will travel just 35 miles down the road to Kansas University as a Big 12 quarterback. He accepted the offer from head coach Charlie Weis last June, choosing the Jayhawks over rival Kansas State.
“Coach Charlie Weis is a great coach who has assembled a phenomenal coaching staff at Kansas,” Jordan Darling said of his choice. “Kansas quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus is a high school legend, and a Notre Dame great. He is a tremendous teacher, and I still have a long way to go and so much to learn.”
(Darling and Powlus at Kansas camp)
“Coach Weis and Coach Powlus offered me the privilege to play Division One football when no one else would. My prayer is to work hard, learn, work harder, and with God’s help, show college football these coaches were right about me. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!” Darling chanted.
Darling’s mom Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Darling is enjoying every minute of Jordan’s senior season. Last season she found herself deployed to Afghanistan and missed her son’s junior year.
“Being deployed means missing moments you never get back,” LTC Darling shared. “My family, and many military families out there, deserve our gratitude for their many sacrifices. It’s not just soldiers fighting this war, it military families. Jordan has been unselfish and brave. To see the smile on his face these days means the world to me. It’s such a blessing to be home!”
Jordan Darling was equally thankful to have his mom back. “We are very proud of my mother for her service in Afghanistan,“ he stated. “My dad and I prayed for her all the time, we missed her so much, and I can’t express in words what it means to have her here to share my senior year.”
There are approximately 1.1 million high school football players competing in the 2012 season. To put in perspective what Darling has accomplished in four different states: He is literally one in a million of high school football players in 2012, and perhaps the only person to ever do what he has done as a high school quarterback.