ORLANDO, Fla. -- It's been a busy week for 2014 quarterback Zack Darlington.
Zack Darlington was offered by VT on Christmas day.
The Apopka (Fla.) High School signalcaller picked up his first offer on Christmas morning from Virginia Tech, and since then has been traversing the state of Florida attending the bowl practices of a number of college programs.
The quarterback attended bowl practices for South Carolina, Michigan and Virginia Tech this week. On Saturday, he stopped by Nebraska's practice.
Darlington, who led Apopka High School to a win in the FHSAA Class 8A State Championship Game, said he liked what he saw from Nebraska's practice and the Husker offense.
"I liked their offense a lot because it's a lot like what we do with the power read and zone read and playaction pass," Darlington said. "That's a good fit for me because that's what we already do. As a mobile quarterback, that's kind of my forte. I think Virginia Tech and Nebraska are similar in their offenses because of that aspect of the playaction pass and the power read and zone read.
"I like Nebraska's coaches and staff quite a bit."
The Darlington family is familiar with Nebraska's coaching staff. Ty Darlington, Zack's older brother is a freshman center at Oklahoma, and was recruited by Nebraska assistant Barney Cotton, and current Nebraska assistant Rick Kaczenski when Kaczenski was at Iowa.
Darlington's dad Rick is the head coach at Apopka High School, and got a visit from Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini during the Florida state playoffs, where he was invited to Nebraska's bowl practice.
During Saturday's practice, Darlington said he was watching Nebraska's quarterbacks, as well as the way players interacted between drills.
"We had a really successful season and that was because we liked being at practice," Darlington said. "The way our teammates interacted with each other and how you can joke around, but still get work done, I think without a doubt Nebraska was one of those teams where everybody seemed to like to be there. I think that brings a fun side to practice so you like to be there."
Darlington turned heads for his performance during the state playoffs. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes this season and ran for nearly 1,000 yards despite missing four games early this season because of a bad ankle sprain that was initially thought to be a broken leg. He contributed 379 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in the title game, and completed almost 70 percent of his passes on the year.
Because of his performance in the playoffs, recruiting is beginning to pick up for Darlington, who called his Christmas Day offer from Virginia Tech, "quite the Christmas present."
He said likes Virginia Tech for many of the same reasons he finds Nebraska attractive.
"I like that they use playaction pass and the offense they have is more for a mobile quarterback," Darlington said of Virginia Tech.
Darlington started at quarterback at Apopka as a sophomore and for part of his freshman year, and said he felt his pocket presence improve during his junior season. He said during his senior season he's looking to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 while also getting his completion percentage above 70 percent. The 190-pound quarterback is also looking to add more weight to be a tougher runner in his senior campaign.
"Last year I wasn't really classified as a mobile quarterback and now everybody says I am," Darlington said. "I can scramble and I've gotten better at making plays. In the offseason, I'm working on getting up to 70 percent of my passes. This year I was at 67 percent."
Darlington said that Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck might stop back through Apopka High School during January, and that he likes what he said he likes what Nebraska has to offer as a program.
"I liked practice a lot," Darlington said. "I think it would be a good fit for me because of the offense and how they do things and the offense they run and I like the coaches a lot."
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