Nov. 1, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Devard Darling, a wide receiver who transferred to Washington State University from Florida State last August, has been cleared medically to begin practicing with the Cougar football team, WSU head coach Mike Price announced today.
Darling, who has been attending classes all semester, will red-shirt this season, according to Price. He is expected to begin practicing next week and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
"It has been a very difficult two months for Devard, having to sit on the sidelines waiting for this decision," Price said. "He has done an excellent job in his course work and now we are anxious to have him join the team, where we are confident he will be just as successful. This young man has shown tremendous maturity and everyone who has ever seen him play agrees he is one heck of a football player."
Darling, who played in four games and caught two passes as a true freshman last year at Florida State, transferred to WSU following the death of his identical twin brother last winter during off-season conditioning drills at FSU. His brother Devaughn was also a freshman with the Seminoles.
Darling was a highly touted receiver out of Austin High in Houston, Texas. One recruiting magazine, SuperPrep, listed him the 24th ranked receiver in the nation following his senior year. He and his brother eventually selected Florida State after being recruited by most of the major colleges in the southern half of the nation.
"WSU officials have been very diligent in evaluating Devard's medical history, given the nature of his twin brother's unexpected death in Florida last February," WSU Head Athletic Trainer Bill Drake said.
"We wanted to make sure we are not putting Devard at risk health-wise, if he is cleared to resume his football career," Drake offered. "In the process our physicians have reviewed his history and talked with several cardiac experts. The combined consensus of the experts involved feel it is safe for Devard to resume playing football."
The exact cause of Devaughn's death was never determined, according to Drake. "Because of the uncertainty of Devaughn's death, we wanted to be especially thorough in Devard's evaluation."
1 - DEVARD DARLING
Austin High '00
One of the top prospects in the state of Texas at wide receiver, earning three varsity letters for football coach Tom Stewart...also earned two letters in track and one in basketball before ending his hoop career as a junior...played in a run-oriented offense at Austin...clocked by high school coaches at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash...named to the all-district team...regarded as the nation's No. 24 wide receiver and the No. 28 prospect in Texas by SuperPrep...listed as the No. 51 wide receiver in the nation by Rivals100.com...missed three games during senior season with turf-toe...selected FSU over Texas A&M.
FRESHMAN (2000-01): Played in four games as a true freshman...credited with two catches for 36 yards and had one touchdown...season-long was a 21-yard reception in the North Carolina game...had a 15-yard touchdown catch in the Maryland game.
SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Transferred to WSU after receiving a release from Florida State...arrived on campus Aug. 21...red-shirt season...cleared medically Oct. 31.
Devard Darling...born 4/16/82 in the Bahamas...parents Dennis Darling and Wendy Smithe...identical twin brother Devaughn died while involved in off-season conditioning program at FSU in February, 2001...one brother Dennis Jr. and two sisters, Stacey Darling and Monique Smithe...he is continuing his exercise sciences major at WSU.
YEAR G/GS PC YDS TD LG
2000 4/0 2 36 1 21