Another day closer to kickoff, another Oklahoma Sooners’ offensive lineman to highlight in our countdown. With 56 days until the season opener against UTEP, we thought we’d spotlight former OU center Ty Darlington.
Darlington was a standout on the Sooners’ offensive line from 2012-15 and with his achievements in the classroom, served as a great ambassador for the Sooners throughout his career. Named an Academic All-American his last two years at OU in 2014 and 2015, Darlington was known as much for his politeness, maturity, class and intellect off the field as he was his ferociousness on it.
Couple of fun facts: Ty scored a 33 on his ACT in high school and received only one B through his entire time in college. Affectionately referred to by teammates and coaches as “the senator”, it’s hard to imagine a guy this insightful and humble going out and destroying dudes at the line of scrimmage. But that’s exactly what Darlington during his time in the Crimson & Cream.
Ty earned an All-Big 12 First Team selection as a senior as well as being named the Big 12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2015. Taking over starting center duties following the graduation of another stellar Sooner student-athlete Gabe Ikard, Darlington, also like Ikard, was awarded the Wuerffel Trophy, which recognizes outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community service.
Darlington also won the distinguished William V. Campbell Trophy, often referred to as the "Academic Heisman”, as a senior in 2015. When he came to OU as a highly regarded recruit and former class valedictorian from Apopka, Florida, Darlington left having enjoyed one of the more unique careers of any former Sooner football player in program history.
With Darlington at center, the Sooners made their sparkling run to the 2015 College Football Playoff. He was instrumental in bringing the Sooners’ line together under new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and budding star Baker Mayfield at quarterback. And his leadership and gregarious qualities stood out as a unifying force with teammates, students, coaches and faculty possibly even more so off the field.
Like Ty Darlington, current OU freshman and fellow center Creed Humphrey also chose the No. 56 to wear at OU. We thought we’d also throw a quick shoutout to Creed today as he’s been making noise throughout this summer and spring, proving he may be too good to redshirt. As the Sooners offensive line comes in locked, loaded and with their sights on making a return to the College Football Playoff, Creed has the makings of the next standout at the position and has a great shot at becoming a part of the mix in the near future.