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Monday, June 17, 2013
Crimson Countdown: C Ty Darlington

By Brandon Chatmon

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 56 Ty Darlington
Center, 6-foot-3, 282 pounds, sophomore

Impact thus far: Darlington could easily be considered the surprise freshman of 2012. When he signed in February 2012, the Sooners had two quality options returning at center with Ben Habern and Gabe Ikard. Yet there was Darlington starting a game as a true freshman against Baylor, replacing an injured Ikard, in early November. And he excelled against the Bears, drawing praise from coach Bob Stoops after his first collegiate start.

He provided quality depth as a freshman, becoming a member of the Sooners' offensive line rotation in the final few games of the season.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Darlington plays a similar role as a sophomore. He has proven he can handle a starting role, but Ikard is entrenched at the position. Darlington should be able to increase the overall competition along the offensive interior and even allow Ikard to move to guard at times. Overall, it would be terrific if he sees enough playing time to be ready to step right in as OU’s starting center in 2014.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: Darlington doesn’t see much playing time as Ikard plays the majority of the snaps at center. And Darlington doesn’t progress as a result.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Darlington: A. The Sooners didn’t hesitate to pursue Darlington, even though he’s undersized. His intelligence and will to be great helped him excel as a true freshman and undoubtedly were a couple of reasons why OU overlooked his lack of size.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Darlington: A. Even though OU had an All-Big 12 performer in Ikard, the Sooners were still willing to give Darlington some key game reps after he came on late in the season. That’s a sign of good program management.