Big Ten football player leaving his program for the most selfless reason ever Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 22: Wide receiver Zack Darlington #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers leads the team on the field against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

For many youngsters around the country, playing college football is the ultimate dream and, in some ways, that appears to have been the case with Nebraska’s Zack Darlington. As a high school prospect, he was recruited by many programs, primarily as a dual-threat quarterback, but Darlington fell just short of contributing at that position for the Huskers, instead spending some time at wide receiver before earning a bit more attention as the team’s holder for place-kicking opportunities.

This week, though, Darlington made an interesting announcement in that he would be transitioning away from football and into a new venture. That next step? Joining the military.

As Darlington notes, military service was another dream of his and it is impressive and selfless that he will be venturing into that field. In addition to the public announcement this week, Darlington (who emerged as a high school prospect from the state of Florida) also visited with Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel and he shared even more about the choice.

“I’m actually joining the army and I’m going to be going to army sniper school in the fall, hopefully. So I’m really pumped about that just because that’s always been something I’ve been very passionate about. I would say as a kid I had two dreams. One was playing college football and the other was getting a chance to serve my country and not many people get to do both and to do it on the stage like I did at Nebraska, and get to play all four years and even get to do a little bit as quarterback, which for a while there I wasn’t sure that was going to even be a chance … It’s just definitely something where football has come and gone and now it’s time to go ahead and chase and climb that next mountain.”

Darlington’s decision is both admirable and mature and he should be lauded for it. Our best wishes go to him.

Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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