NORMAN — Zack Darlington is fully participating in Nebraska’s spring practices, and his big brother couldn’t be happier.
Oklahoma junior center Ty Darlington watched in horror as Zack was carted off the field last August after a concussion during a high school football game, then airlifted to a hospital. It was his second concussion in as many months.
The game was being nationally televised on ESPN.
Zack Darlington, a quarterback, missed the rest of his senior season at Apopka (Fla.) High, but enrolled early at Nebraska, as he originally planned to do, and is doing great.
“He got a good couple weeks of practice in with Nebraska and he’s just continuing to get better,” Ty Darlington said. “He’s not cleared for contact but that doesn’t really matter because it’s spring; he’s not gonna get tackled.”
Nebraska coaches pledged after the injury to honor Zack’s scholarship regardless of his playing future, a gesture that deeply touched the Darlington family.
“Coach Pelini, it was really honorable of him to say that and to hold true to his commitment to Zack,” Ty Darlington said. “They’ve been nothing but hospitable to him and my family, and so far, he’s been able to fully participate. That’s been a blessing. We just pray that his health continues to improve and that he doesn’t have any lingering symptoms.”