Football: Darby backs out of pledge

By Bob Wieneke
Irish Sports Report
6:59 am, January 08, 2012

A day after adding a player to the secondary in its recruiting class of 2012, Notre Dame appears to have lost a member of the group that will sign in just a few weeks.

According to national recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong of, cornerback Ronald Darby has backed out of the pledge he gave the Irish staff in April, although Wiltfong said that Notre Dame remains in the mix for the five-star player.

"It looks like he opened up," Wiltfong said.

Expect Darby, according to Wiltfong, to choose from among a group that also includes Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Florida, USC and Maryland.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Darby, who plays at Potomac High in Oxon Hill, Md., is considered one of the nation's fastest players with a time of 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

On Saturday, Notre Dame gained a commitment from four-plus star safety Elijah Shumate of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J. The secondary was a major area of need for ND in this class, and with the Darby decommitment, Notre Dame now has commitments from five DBs, but only one cornerback -- Tee Shepard of Fresno, Calif.

Notre Dame's attention now likely turns to cornerback Yuri Wright, Shumate's teammate at Don Bosco. Wright visited Notre Dame last month.

Another target is Mississippi State commit Will Redmond of Memphis, Tenn. Redmond is expected to take an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Jan. 20. And the Irish remain involved with Florida commit Brian Poole of Bradenton, Fla.

With Darby's decommitment, Notre Dame now has 17 players verbally committed to the group that will sign on Feb. 1.


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