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Originally published June 4, 2012 at 09:01p.m., updated June 5, 2012 at 12:10a.m.

KU football lands oral commitment from QB Jordan Darling

SM East QB becomes KU's fourth commitment in Class of 2013

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Quarterback U? Perhaps.

Monday night, Kansas University’s football team received its fourth commitment from the Class of 2013 when Shawnee Mission East prospect Jordan Darling orally committed to the Jayhawks.

Darling, 6-foot-4, 226 pounds, is the second quarterback in the class to pick KU — Bishop Miege High QB Montell Cozart committed in March — and the fifth QB brought to town by new head coach Charlie Weis since he took the job last December.

According to Rivals.com, Darling committed to Weis in person Monday with his mother and father there with him.

“I told coach Weis I wanted to commit to them because they believed in me to offer early,” Darling told Jon Kirby. “And I believe in them. I remember being at the junior day when coach Weis told all of the recruits in the room they could be part of something special. I wanted to be a part of it.”

Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus also played an integral part in landing the three-star prospect.

“He’s a great coach,” Darling told Kirby. “He’s been through the recruiting and knows what it takes. It will be nice to play for a guy that has done it and is successful.”

Darling joins Cozart, Basehor-Linwood High tight end Ben Johnson and St. Louis linebacker Kellen Ash as KU’s commitments from the Class of 2013 so far.

Record-setting spring

The KU football program had a record-setting spring in the classroom, the university announced Monday evening.

KU’s team grade-point average of 3.0 for the spring semester was the program’s all-time best for a semester and a drastic improvement from the 2.46 GPA the team recorded during the fall semester.

“I am delighted,” Weis said. “That mark exceeded my expectations by a wide margin. To be able to jump more than half a letter grade in one semester, and exceeding the best GPA ever by a quarter-grade merits my congratulations to the entire team. Good things happen when you go to class, go on time and use academic support.”

Four football players recorded 4.0 GPAs this spring and 32 others topped the 3.0 mark.

“When we hired Charlie Weis, he and I agreed that performance in the classroom was a top priority,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said. “What this achievement indicates is that coach Weis and his team fully embraced that goal and delivered.

“This is clearly a family priority as well,” Zenger added, “since Charlie Weis, Jr., also achieved a 4.0. Coach Weis obviously holds his family to as high a standard as he holds his team.”

Kansas football was one of nine KU programs to eclipse the 3.0 mark during the spring semester. Volleyball led the way with a 3.44 mark, followed by soccer (3.32), softball (3.25), swimming & diving (3.25), men’s golf (3.14), women’s golf (3.11), tennis (3.05) and women’s track & field (3.0).

Farley to transfer

Jake Farley, a 6-1, 220-pound sophomore linebacker from Cedar Falls, Iowa, will transfer to Northern Iowa, where he will finish his career playing for his father, Mark, Weis announced Monday.

“Jake met with me on Friday and told me he would like to finish his career playing for his dad,” Weis said in a press release. “How could I debate that one? On behalf of the KU program, I wish Jake success and happiness as he returns home to be with his family.”

Farley red-shirted during the 2010 season and did not play during 2011.

Comments

huskerpower 2 years, 1 month ago

No Rivals.com or ESPN class ranking? Cmon Matt, you're better than that.

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oldalum 2 years, 1 month ago

The article refers to him as "a three-star prospect." Is that the kind of ranking you're talking about?

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jaydee909 2 years, 1 month ago

This is great news! Darling is a big kid that should fit nicely into Coach Weis's offense. Kid didn't have the opportunity to put up big numbers at the high school he attended last season in Waco, Texas, as he split playing time with the Baylor's women's basketball coach's son. K-State offered him recently and Oklahoma is well aware of him.

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jhawk613 2 years, 1 month ago

Odds that Cozart re-opens his recruitment? K-State will be in need of a QB after Klein graduates and they just extended an offer.

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Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 1 month ago

Yea Cozart bails now. Unfortunately.

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't agree. Why would he? If he has any confidence whatsoever he will compete for the starting job. He and Darling will most like both red-shirt since we'll have Heaps, Baty, Cummings. So, by the time they are ready to start in 2014 or 2015 the first three will be gone. It is basically Cozart competing with Darling. Of course before they compete they work the weight room hard, get to know the offense like the back of their hand, study film of opponents, and get ahead academically. There is so much to do I just don't see them being competitive as freshmen. Not mention going to Manhattan for him would be like going to Colby.

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Eric Bernauer 2 years, 1 month ago

And to think it wasn't that long ago that Brock Berglund seemed like a good pickup for KU!

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Awesome! And I love that he picked KU over K-State. Smart move Jordan. I don't think Cozart will switch his commitment because he won't find a better stepping stone to being an NFL QB than KU. One of these two guys will red shirt, setting us up well through 2017. Between that and the injuries that inevitably occur, they will each have plenty of opportunities.

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KGphoto 2 years, 1 month ago

Cozart and the NFL? I didn't think this kid was quite on the NFL track at 6'2" 180, but he's raking in offers left and right now I guess, so who knows. If West Virginia, K-State and Chuck all want this guy he must be something special.

I still have him pegged as a WR in Weis' offense but Weis still has Cummings taking snaps so what do I know? Maybe he sees Cozart as the next Cummings, in whatever that role will turn into this year.

If I'm Cozart and I want to play QB, I'm probably going to one of these other schools. at Indiana he could be the next Antwaan Randle El. There's one way to make the league, but I don't see it in a pro-style offense.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Turner Baty: 6-2, 210 Jake Heaps: 6-1, 208

Cozart compares favorably with Baty and Heaps in size, and we've heard talk about the possibility of those two being NFL-caliber someday. I hear what your saying though, and your right that he has the skills to be an amazing dual-threat QB. I just think the fact he is a speedster doesn't necessarily mean he can't be a Pro-style QB. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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Dirk Medema 2 years, 1 month ago

Atl - CW was making a similar point about Cummings in the spring. That he has a cannon for an arm, and can make any throw. If I remember correctly, Mr Brees is about the same size, so you obviously don't have to be 6-4+ to go pro. It may help (Mr Freeman?) but there is a lot more to being successful here an there. Hopefully, Cozart, and all the players/recruits willing to compete on during the week as well as the weekend.

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squawkhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

From what I hear, KSU is pretty stacked at QB right now and have moved at least one to another position for playing time. They aren't hurting for QBs right now by any means.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Right, cause that's just what great programs do - waste a bunch of time and effort courting a prospect they don't really need. Is that what you said every time a girl turned you down for the prom (oh well, I didn't really want to take her anyway)? Nice try.

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number1jayhawker 2 years, 1 month ago

Really! Old Balls doesn't pass out offers to players he doesn't want and need. Especially to Cozart, who was already comitted to KU before he offered.

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KansasRedLegger 2 years, 1 month ago

Horrible K-State troll is horrible.

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Will Babbit 2 years, 1 month ago

Really lost in the article is what a great turnaround academically the team is making after the disaster of the last couple years for the team. Grats to the team and to the coaching staff!

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vd 2 years, 1 month ago

I read the article and I didn't think it was "lost". Congrats to the team and coaches. This is great news.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Amen!!

Matt Tait - I know this news just broke last night, but can we please get an article about the GPA turnaround? This deserves some major coverage and accolades. It is perhaps the first tangible proof that this is a new era in KU Football. Couldn't be prouder of the job Weis and his staff have done all around. I'm one of those who believe success in the classroom translates to success on the field (and in life). The grades are proof that these guys are more focused, more responsible, more accountable, and more disciplined. That can only help in the fall.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

Couldn't agree more, Jaybird. The recent increase in academics under Charlie Weiss is worthy of its own story. Its a winner on two counts. First, as you point out, it suggests increased discipline. But getting good grades is also a good thing beyond football. Most of these guys aren't playing any higher, and its always a good thing when Jayhawks succeed in the real world once they earn their diploma. And good grades makes that happen.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Yep - as you said, I thought this news merited it's own article. In addition to everything you listed, it shows that Weis is walking the talk. He meant it when he said academics are important to him.

I noticed on Twitter this morning that allot of the new recruits showed up for class 20 or 30 minutes early. I'm guessing they got the memo that you don't want to be late. That discipline and accountability will translate into everything else they do, and it will ultimately make them better football players.

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Dirk Medema 2 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, what are the odds that the performance on the field shows as drastic an improvement as in the classroom? The GPA got an immediate boost in the booting of many of the 50 F's from the fall semester, so maybe it isn't completely the same addition by subtraction. My guess is that last year's players perform significantly better this year on the field as well as in the classroom. Also guessing that this recruiting class fills in some significant gaps (DT's, QB - the chain is only as strong as the weakest link).

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 1 month ago

1) we landed 2 local recruits over KSU at the most important position on the field. 2) if Cozart does open up his recruitment it shows that this kid is a stud.

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machinegun 2 years, 1 month ago

Coach Charlie Weis is a great coach! Jordan Darling is going to have the opportunity of a lifetime to become a great KU QB. This is a great day for KU football!

Coach Weis made a commitment to Jordan Darling and his parents (William and Leslie) long before anyone else. Now, Jordan has committed to KU! Jordan has unlimited potential at 6-4 plus and 225, a rocket arm, and the experience to go along with it. For his senior year, Jordan is going to be playing for Coach Chip Sherman at Shawnee Mission East in Kansas City (Prairie Village).

Coming from an Army family (Dad-William is retired and Mom-Leslie is an active-duty Lieutenant Colonel recently redeployed after a year in Afghanistan and now going to be stationed at Fort Leavenworth), Jordan is hard working, dedicated, and loyal just like his parents. It goes with the territory that he has had to move a lot to be with his Army family. As with any new situation, Jordan has faced adversity and overcome it. This experience will serve him well.

Kansas City has always been a KU town and it's just a short drive to the University of Kansas and Memorial Stadium. Perhaps you recall Jordan's quote, "You know the expression you are not in Kansas anymore, well, I am in Kansas and I love it!"

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Great info - Thanks MachineGun. Here is a story from KCMetro.com that ran last month with some more details on our newest quarterback.

http://kcmetro.com/localnews.php?url=http://recruiting.scout.com/2/1185979.html

Amazing story! Can't imagine having your Mom in Afghanistan. As the article states, "Over the last three years he has attended four different high schools, in four different states, in support of his mother’s military career." He was rated as one of the top 10 2013 prospects in the state of Texas by the Longorns media (http://insidetexas.com/news/story.php?article=3417). Had this kid stayed in Waco he would have had a lot more offers from a lot more Div-I schools. That he chose instead to stay with his parents speaks volumes about his character. It also speaks volumes for Weis and Powlus and the KU Football program that he didn't hold out for other offers.

We have two outstanding QB commits now. Can't wait to see who's next.

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Micky Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

The increase in the GPA for the football team could translate very well on the field. This is called discipline. Knowing and sticking to one's assignment on the field, and accept responsibility for a missed assignment is the way a team is built. With really good team work, wins come.

Look at KU basketball in the 2011-12 season. Nobody thought they'd get to the NC Title game, but they played great together as a team and understood their strengths and weaknesses. Bill Self has always had players that play well together because he coaches it and teaches it.

I really like this approach by HCCW. I'm ready for football, and last year I was dreading it. I think KU has a legit shot at going bowling this year.

They can TCU, Iowa State, and let's remember Texas Tech and Baylor a year ago.

KU would have beaten Baylor had they stuck with what they did the first 3 quarters. Baylor - minus RGIII this season. Texas Tech, KU had them on the ropes early and just fizzled because they intensity and didn't stick with their assignments. Much of this was bad coaching too. Zero adjustments.

Let's also not forget who the QB is, Dayne Crist. The defenders won't have time to get to him because he makes decisions so quickly, and he's big and strong.

All I can say is that to have that outside threat, Jacorey Sheperd is going to have to be ready to ball and Omigie, don't drop passes! If these two guys improve, then KU's offense could be in the top 10 to 15 in the nation.

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FootballSaint 2 years, 1 month ago

Darling lost his starting job by the time the state Championship game rolled around to a converted DB who had played quarterback in the past. Actually, the school had a three quarterback rotation during most of the season after Darling kinda mis stepped. He seemed to take the demotion well, shows a good team player.

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machinegun 2 years ago

Wrong-there was no issue with his performance. Jordan Darling was the key to making the run to the Texas State Championship final something the school had never done in its entire history. Just go on You Tube and watch the video. Yes-that is Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The team that won had taken the title 4 years in a row.

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FootballSaint 2 years ago

Actually, the team really took off once the quarterback rotation was implemented. If he was the key to a state run, surely he wouldn't have been a rotational quarterback..just think about it. He kinda had trouble under pressure and wasn't as mobile as the other qb's. I think the key to the state run was an amazing running back, a receiver who would go and get any ball regardless of how it was thrown and a stellar defense. But hey, what do I know!

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machinegun 2 years ago

Tex--go ahead and ramble. In 2013, Jordan Darling will be playing for Coach Charlie Weis at the University of Kansas. How about that?

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funinthesun 2 years ago

Obviously, Darling is a solid quarterback as evidenced by the offers from Kansas (pass first offense) and Kansas State (run first offense). I watched the video from his junior season. Amazing!

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