DT Cummings makes good on pledge 

December, 19, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The day that Darious Cummings had hoped for is finally here – it just came nearly three years later than he originally planned.

The 6-foot-3, 292-pound defensive tackle -- along with fellow junior college players Trenton Brown and Tyler Moore -- is expected to sign a national letter of intent to play at Florida today. His signature will reunite him with longtime friend Damien Jacobs and make their goal of one day playing at the same college a reality.

"Me and him were supposed to play at Florida State," Cummings said. "Before we signed [out of high school] we said we were going to go to the same school and we’re going to play together in college. People ask me, 'Is this fate [that he’s signing with Florida]?'

"We’re excited about it. He’s like my brother."

This was supposed to have happened in February 2010. Cummings, a four-star prospect and No. 130 in the ESPN 150 from Titusville (Fla.) Astronaut, and Jacobs, a three-star prospect and ESPN’s No. 64 defensive tackle from Gray (La.) H.L. Bourgeois, had met while they were being recruited by Florida State. They agreed to sign with FSU because they wanted to play together.

Except Jacobs never made it to Tallahassee, instead ending up at East Mississippi Community College.

Cummings did. He spent two seasons with the Seminoles, but he wasn’t happy and decided to transfer.

"I just needed a fresh start," said Cummings, who is ranked 31st in ESPN’s inaugural Junior College 100. "That’s how I looked at it. I just needed to go out and find somebody that believed in me from the start and give me the opportunity to show what I can do."

That person turned out to be EMCC defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh. He convinced Cummings to play there in 2012 by telling Cummings that he’d be able to earn a scholarship to an SEC school. Cummings did his part by playing well (26 tackles, 3.0 sacks, one forced fumble) and Brumbaugh ended up being right -- with the added bonus that it was the same school that signed Jacobs the previous December.

Not only are they now finally teammates, they have a chance to start together on the defensive line in 2013. The Gators could end up with only three scholarship defensive tackles on the roster next season in Cummings, Jacobs and Leon Orr. Sharrif Floyd is likely going to declare for the NFL draft and DE Dominique Easley, who played tackle his first two seasons, might do so as well. UF has a commitment from four-star recruit Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, Fla./Crescent City), but nothing is certain until he signs in February.

Cummings, who will be a redshirt junior and have two seasons of eligibility remaining, isn’t thinking that far ahead.

"I don’t want anything given to me," he said. "If I go in and I work and I do my thing and handle my business, my name will be mentioned for a starting spot. That’s always the goal, but I just want to get there [to Gainesville] first."

That’s a mature attitude, which Cummings admits is something he didn’t have during his time at Florida State -- both on and off the field.

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