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April 16, 2011
It's not a stretch to say Notre Dame's Blue-Gold game recruiting weekend got off to a fast start.
It's probably more accurate to say the Irish got a little faster Saturday morning when Oxon Hill, Md., athlete Ronald Darby verbally committed during his first visit to campus. Ronnie Crump, head coach at Potomac High School, confirmed the commitment to Irish Illustrated via text message.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete was among the first group of 2012 prospects to land a verbal offer from the Irish. Even without visiting South Bend, Darby elevated Notre Dame to a spot near the top of his short list of favorites.
"I really like them from their tradition and everything," Darby said back in October after receiving his offer from the Irish.
His affinity for the Irish grew during his regular conversations with the Notre Dame coaching staff and seeing campus for the first time sealed his fate.
Darby, who is being recruited by schools across the country to play running back, wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner, is among the fastest football players in the nation.
"I really like defense best and special teams," Darby previously told IrishIllustrated.com. "I like to be the one to deliver the hit."
There's no doubt he's one of the fastest sprinters in the country, not after running a 6.28-second time in the 55-meter dash during January's Hispanic Games in New York City. He also clocked a 21.28-second time in the 200-meter dash. Both sprints were the fastest in the nation at the time.
That same week he ran the best 40-yard dash at the Under Armour All-American Combine in Orlando, Fla. His 4.31-second electronically timed 40 proved just how fast Darby can run and how quickly he accelerates to full speed.
Track speed doesn't always translate to the football field, but it has in Darby's case.
Last season he rushed for 1,329 yards and 23 touchdowns and picked off three passes.
"He hates people calling him a track guy," Crump told IrishIllsutrated.com in a recent interview. "But it's crazy what he's capable of doing."
Darby is the Irish's third commitment in the recruiting class of 2012.
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