Bucs’ Darden Motivated By Doubters For Criticism Over Size


The Bucs traded up eight spots within the fourth spherical to land draft North Texas receiver Jaelon Darden on Saturday afternoon.  At 5-8, 174 kilos, most would take into account him undersized, however Darden has used the criticism as gasoline to succeed in this level.

“It bought me to the place I’m immediately,” Darden stated. “Coming from highschool, going into school and up till now it sort of performed a giant half. I sort of hold that on my shoulder. That retains me going and retains me motivated. A number of occasions [I’ve been] figuring out with folks not seeing that I’m nonetheless carrying that on my shoulder and nonetheless operating that in my mind to assist myself be capable to grow to be a greater me each time I take the sector.”

North Texas WR Jaelon Darden – Picture courtesy of North Texas

He has one other supply of motivation each time he performs. His late father, Manya Darden,  handed away final summer season earlier than Jaelon’s senior yr. Darden spoke on how he saved his dad shut throughout this entire course of.

“It undoubtedly means so much,” Darden stated. “However truly it looks like he’s nonetheless right here as a result of I’ve a variety of merchandise with him on it to sort of hold him shut with me. It undoubtedly means so much. We prayed about this, cried about this second right here, so it undoubtedly means so much. I’m undoubtedly going to should hold going and hold pushing.

“All through my 4 years at North Texas, my dad was sick. He was coping with coronary heart issues, so we sort of constructed a powerful relationship over that point with me rising as a person – him with the ability to set up sure issues into me and be capable to assist me mature and grow to be the person I’m immediately.”

Darden will come right into a scenario the place he’s anticipated to contribute on particular groups along with his 4.46 velocity, and is open to the potential of being the Bucs’ kick returner.

“[Returning] is certainly a powerful [part] of my recreation,” Darden stated. with the ability to catch these punts and with the ability to put the offense in one of the best scenario potential. I undoubtedly don’t have any downside with that. I really feel assured in coming in immediately and with the ability to assist nevertheless wanted.”

As a receiver Darden had a faculty file greatest 19 touchdowns in 2020 in simply 19 video games. Some gamers simply have a knack of discovering the top zone and Darden falls into that class.

“That has all the time been in me,” Darden stated. “Placing factors within the board and having the ball in your fingers on offense – that’s the job. I extra so pleasure myself on getting in there nevertheless wanted or whichever means potential. Nobody is stopping me. I simply should get in there. That’s extra so my mindset so I keep on with that.” 

Darden appreciates the place he landed. 

“I couldn’t truly ask [for] a greater place to be,” Darden stated. “To have the ability to study from Tom Brady and study from Antonio Brown, [Chris] Godwin, Mike Evans and all these different nice guys [and] to have the ability to sit down and actually study, choose their brains and assist myself grow to be a greater participant means so much. I’m actually blessed for this chance and I’m grateful.”

Darden couldn’t include his pleasure of attending to play with Brady not lengthy after the choose was made.


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