The Lakeland Mirror

Darling proves coaches wrong

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Darling proves coaches wrong

Willie Franke, Staff Reporter

Dajuan “Moe” Darling, junior sports management major, is a football player from Detroit, Michigan, who decided to come to Lakeland because of the welcoming atmosphere. He said, “there’s no favoritism here. Everyone accepts me for who I am.”

At his previous school, Saginaw Valley State University, he was a walk-on player at defensive back. Even though he was a walk-on, he stated that he was “outshining the scholarship players.”

“The coaches didn’t like to see a walk-on playing better than their scholarship players so they had it out for me,” Darling said. One day, a coach brought Darling into his office and said, “you’ll never be more than a scout team player.”

Darling responded to the coach by saying, “I’m glad you said that.” The coach’s comment sparked a new energy and motivation in his life. It was in that moment he knew he had to prove the coach wrong.

After that, Darling began the transfer process to come to Lakeland. He was excited to work with Colin Bruton, head football coach, and his attacking style defense.

Darling noticed that the cornerbacks didn’t play any press coverage, which was his strength. When he asked Bruton to play the press, Bruton replied, “you’ll never play press here.” Once again, Darling wanted to prove the coach wrong.

Through hard work and hours of practice, Darling became a lockdown corner, who was impossible to move off the line. When someone asks Darling if he plays press now, he just smiles and says, “yeah, coach lets me play press now.”

Diante Moses, sophomore sports management major, said, “Moe is a strong idol. His confidence in not only himself, but others is what makes him a great teammate. He is always helping people when they’re down.”

Darling obtained his strength from his home life. He stated, “I remember having to give up food for my younger siblings just so we all could eat some nights. I’ve slept by fireplaces in the winter some years. Just know that pain and rejection is temporary. Everybody goes through different struggles; you just have to fight through them because it’ll be worth it in the end.”

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Darling proves coaches wrong”

  1. Darius Slay on March 3rd, 2017 11:19 am

    This is the official Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions. I’m amazed to see a young bull out of Detroit working hard who went through some severe struggles. Keep it up youngster!

  2. Dajuan Darling on May 2nd, 2017 2:01 am

    I appreciate it Slay, Without struggle there is no progress you know the process. Keep making plays for the city man we appreciate you hopefully we can play across from each other soon.

  3. Deezy Hopkins on June 12th, 2017 7:11 am

    Proud of you bro. You a solid positive dude. Keep doing what you doing. Progression & faith taking you to the top. 💯

  4. Moski on June 12th, 2017 5:22 pm

    Oh yea boy, kick that mf door down then, you know what time it is, let’s eat.

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