VYPE ATX 411: Jake Darling
Recently, Jake Darling won the VYPE ATX Public School Preseason LB of the Year Fan Poll. Darling has exploded on the scene over the last year with great showings on the field and in camps. Darling, who recently committed to Harvard sat down with VYPE to answer a few questions heading into the season.
VYPE: Talk to me about your last few years at San Marcos. Seems like y'all have been building a pretty good team out there. What's it been like since Coach Walsh and his staff have shown up?
Darling: Having Coach Walsh take over as our Head Coach and AD has been a game-changer for the San Marcos Football program. He is promoting a culture of excellence and instilling a winning mindset! Coach Walsh has been very intentional about building our program from the ground up. He has hired former players and coaches who are accustomed to winning championships and are committed in investing in player development.
VYPE: Now on to you, who do you try and emulate your game off of?
Darling: I emulate my game after TJ Watt, Maxx Crosby, and Clay Matthews. All three are extremely aggressive and play the game like chess, 2-3 steps ahead. Each one has established their own signature pass rushing styles which I draw from and incorporate into my game.
VYPE: You made it to the playoffs last season and now you've switched districts heading into 2022, what are you most looking forward to this season?
Darling: I'm looking forward to competing against top level talent and putting on display the brand of football the Rattlers play. We next level!
VYPE: What have you been working on personally this offseason?
Darling: I have been working nonstop on my strength, speed, explosiveness, footwork, hip mobility and hand to hand combat! All of which are helping me become a more dominant and dynamic player.
VYPE: What are some personal goals for you this season?
Darling: I want to average two sacks a game.
VYPE: You had a few offers come your way, but ultimately decided on Harvard. First congrats on getting that offer to such a prestigious school. Second what was it about Harvard that stood out compared to the other schools?
Darling: Harvard does an excellent job with developing the DL. The structure of their practices allows the players to obtain optimal results in game. Last year, the defense tallied 39 sacks and are coming into this season with the #1 overall defense in the Ivy League. On top of that, the culture at Harvard is unrivaled. Everyone on campus strives to be the best versions of themselves and their academic prowess is second to none.
VYPE: What is your pre-game routine?
Darling: My pregame ritual consists of watching film, going through a dynamic warmup paired with hip mobility, praying in the endzone, and getting juiced up for the game.
VYPE: What has been your greatest memory as playing for San Marcos so far?
Darling: So far my greatest memory as a Rattler was our relentless comeback against Del Valle. That was a defining moment for our team last season!
VYPE: Finally outside of the game of football, what's one of your favorite things to do off the field?
Darling: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going to church, cheering on my Dallas Cowboys, playing guitar, and days at the lake.
Darling and the Rattlers begin their season tomorrow, August 26th, at Rattler Stadium against Hutto at 7:30PM