OU offensive line coach James Patton has a motto that he tells his line: Everybody's one play away.
“Playing up front and on the line you're going to hit somebody on every play or somebody's going to hit you,” Patton said. “That's the toughness that comes along there.
“Ty's a tough guy and he's a fighter. He's smart. And he knows what to do. He's got a lot of that in his blood and that showed out there today with his first start.”
In high school, Darlington was his class valedictorian, scoring a 33 on the ACT, a 2060 on the SAT and graduating with a weighted 5.1 GPA.
And he has an incredible memory.
Although only two bands showed from outside of his athletic tape, he wears eight silicone bands. Seven of them are bible verses that he can recall at the drop of a question.
First Corinthians 4:7. Colossians 2:20. Romans 6:14. Philippians 4:6-7. Romans 12:2.
They're about not worrying and not conforming and being free from sin.
Then there's a band that reads ‘Play with a purpose, pray with a purpose.'
He hasn't taken them off since his junior year of high school and only one has ever snapped. That was two weeks ago. Romans 12:12.
“It messed me up,” Darlington said.
Throughout the week, Darlington and quarterback Landry Jones texted about their faith and being prepared for the game. When the time came, Darlington selected two bands that he thought would guide him through the game, like he does before every game.
The one was about adversity. The second was about strength. Psalm 7:36.
“The verse is, ‘My heart and flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,'” Darlington said. “I knew then when going onto the field that I may mess up and I may not be big enough to go against some of the guys. I thought that was big going into this game.”