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Ronald Darby to Florida State: Can He Make An Instant Impact in 2012?

Florida State added to their already strong recruiting class with the commitment of Ronald Darby.
Florida State added to their already strong recruiting class with the commitment of Ronald Darby.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IIFebruary 1, 2012

The Florida State added to their already strong signing day haul on Wednesday afternoon, when 4-star cornerback Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, Md.) announced he would become the 19th commitment in the Seminoles' 2012 recruiting class.  

The Potomac High School speedster is not only a star football player, but competes at a national level in track as well. Darby won the Gatorade State Track and Field Athlete of the Year and won a gold medal on Team USA's medley team at the World Youth Championships last July. 

The biggest reason Darby chose Florida State is his desire to play football and run track for the Seminoles.  

"They have everything worked out," Darby said. "They are known for having two sport athletes like (current Florida State commit) Jameis Winston." 

Darby also has a chance to make an immediate impact on the field and put his world-class speed to good use as a punt returner or running back kickoffs as a true freshman. Playing time at the cornerback position will be tough to come by, though, with four of five players from the two-deep returning at that position. 

Not only will Darby have to battle returning veterans, but there will be competition with one of the Seminoles' newest commits in their 2012 class, 4-star cornerback Colin Blake (San Antonio, Tex.). 

Potomac assistant coach Donnell Douglas does not believe that his star cornerback will have a difficult time impressing the coaches and feels that Darby can get on the field as a freshman in Florida State's nickel package. 

"He weighed his options and felt he could come in and play early and play nickel right away at Florida State," Douglas said. "He also figured he and (FSU commit) Marvin Bracy could be a great 1-2 punch in the return game as well." 

Overall, look for Darby to return some punts and kickoffs early on in 2012, but it will not be until later on in the year that the nation's No. 68 overall prospect will see substantial playing time in the secondary.

Zach Dirlam is the Lead Editor of College Basketball and Big Ten Columnist for the Fox Sports, MSN and YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. He is also undergoing a trial period as a Michigan Football Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his blog, Dirlam’s Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story along with other articles and video reports on the major sports. Follow him on Twitter @ZachDirlam_SPAW!  

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