Devaughn Darling, identical twin brother to Devard Darling, was born just scant minutes after Devard in April of 1982. He grew up on the island of Bahamas in the capital city of Nassau, were he and his siblings attended Nassau Christian Academy until the age of 12 when Devard and his family moved to Houston, Texas.
There the twins began their football career at Hodges Bend Middle School in Fort Bend Independent School District of Sugar Land, Texas. While the twins grew up fans of the game, this was there first opportunity to actually play organized football.
With true promise of stellar football careers, the twins started high school at Stephen F. Austin High School in the fall of 1996. There while maintaining a 3.5 GPA and lettering in football and track; Devaughn become one of the most highly touted linebackers in the country.
Devaughn was named #1 Linebacker in the state of Texas earning All-State and District MVP honors as a senior; recording 143 tackles and 10 sacks as senior. He was an exceptional athlete with great speed for a linebacker, running a 4.5 in the 40 in high school. He was rated the No. 27 prospect in Texas and the No. 23 linebacking prospect in the country by Super Prep, Rivals100.com’s No. 26 linebacker nationally, and ranked as the No. 6 linebacking prospect in the Midlands Region by Prep Star. After being recruited by dozens of major NCAA Division I programs, Devaughn, along with Devard, committed to Florida State University over Texas A&M University in spring of 1999.
It didn’t take long for the Darling brothers to make an impact on the Seminole football squad. As true freshman, both saw playing time, Devaughn on specials teams and linebacker, Devard at wide receiver; and the team became better with their presence, on and off the field. Unfortunately, due to dehydration, physical overexertion, and complications as a sickle cell trait carrier–ultimately, the reason for the formation of the As One Foundation– Devaughn passed away during off season mat drills on February 26, 2001.
“It’s not everyday you meet a young man like Devaughn, ask anyone who knew him…teachers, friends, family… He was more then just a beast on the field; he was passionate, kind, generous, goal-oriented, humble, tenderhearted, quick to forgive, quick to tell you if you weren’t acting right. He was very outgoing and fun; he was a friend to everyone he met. Just an outstanding human being. And I miss him.” – Devard Darling, Founder and President