A champion at both the collegiate level and now the NFL, Ronald Darby has plenty of experience in big time moments. A two-sport athlete in track and football during high school, Darby combined his exceptional athleticism with his solid work ethic to earn a scholarship to Florida State.
However before committing to Florida State, Darby had another focus: the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics. He would go on to win bronze in the 200 m and gold in the Medley relay.
Darby immediately earned playing time as a true freshman at Florida State. The 2012 Florida State team led the ACC in points allowed with 15.1 on average per game and ended the year ranked 7th in the FBS. Despite limited playing time Darby racked up 18 tackles and broke up 7 passes. His impressive true freshman season earned him ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Darby continued his high level of play into his sophomore year, where he had 14 tackles and 2 interceptions. Darby and his teammates’ hard work cumulated in their Florida State team winning the 2013 BCS National Championship.
After his junior year, Darby declared for the NFL draft and was the first player drafted by the Buffalo Bills in that year’s draft. Darby’s athleticism and work ethic helped him adjust quickly to the NFL and earn the Bills’ starting cornerback job for the 2015 season. Darby had a great rookie year with 61 solo tackles and 2 interceptions in 15 games. He was named the Pro Football Focus’ Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In the 2016 season, Darby had to work hard to overcome some unlucky injuries that limited him during the season. Darby racked up 60 solo tackles and 12 pass deflections in the 14 games he played.
In the 2017 offseason, Darby was surprisingly traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. Darby had to readjust to a whole new environment right before the season started. After adjusting, Darby was hit with more difficulties, as he hurt his ankle in Week 1. Despite the setback, Darby worked hard and was able to come back by Week 11 for the Eagles’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.
For the rest of the regular season, Darby helped to anchor a strong defense and led Philadelphia into the playoffs. Throughout the playoffs, Darby’s leadership was felt on the field and could be seen by the defense’s performance. Philadelphia only gave up a total of 17 points in the playoffs entering the Super Bowl.
In Super Bowl LII, Darby started at cornerback for the Eagles and finished the game with 4 tackles and 2 passes defended. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in one of the most exciting NFL games in recent memory.