« Football 2013

Alden Darby

School

Arizona State

Position
Safety
Major
Interdisciplinary Studies

Classroom

Darby has worked tirelessly in the classroom and is on track to graduate in four years from Arizona State. Similar to his role on the field, Darby brings the same energy, focus and leadership to his studies. Whether he is working on his schoolwork or mentoring a younger teammate, he is the true definition of a student-athlete. Darby is one of the most requested interviews on the team and he takes time and care to answer every question thoughtfully. He has become increasingly interested in broadcast news when his football career is over and even hosted his own “ASU Football Roundtable” on AZCentral Sports recently. He is going to work with a local newscaster throughout the season to work on his on-camera presence and cadence.

Character

Both of Darby’s biological parents were in and out of jail during his childhood. He is from one of the roughest parts of Long Beach, Calif. – 21st and Lewis – and Darby’s stepfather came along while he was in middle school and helped him focus on football. Darby was one of 42 student-athletes from across the country to be named to the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is given to individuals who excel in the classroom, on the field and around the community. He was also the first Sun Devil to be awarded the Pat Tillman Practice Jersey, which head coach Todd Graham awards to those who represent everything positive about the football program.

Community

Darby is heavily involved in the Scholar Baller leadership and outreach program, where he helps develop curriculum, deliver, teach and mentor students at South Mountain High School, Academy of Excellence and Cesar Chavez High School teaching them about developing championship character, creating a strong sense of self and becoming a great leader. Darby has also been instrumental in influencing his teammates and other student-athletes to become more involved in the community and led a contingent of football student-athletes to a number of schools on a regular basis. He frequently takes time out of his day to help with numerous campus community service projects and is always first in line to say hi to young Sun Devil fans.

Competition

A three-year Sun Devil, Darby has 145 career tackles, six career interceptions for a 194 return yards, and seven pass deflections. Darby flourished after moving from cornerback to safety prior to the 2012 season as he played an instrumental role in a defensive backfield that ranked third nationally in pass defense and 10th in passing efficiency defense, and led the Pac-12 in both categories. ASU also finished the season with 21 interceptions, a mark that was tied for fourth in the nation. An All-Pac-12 Second Team selection, Darby recorded three interceptions on the year, including one against USC that he returned for a 70-yard touchdown, which was the longest interception return for a touchdown for ASU since Troy Nolan’s 100-yard return in 2008. Darby also added 80 tackles, including eight in the team’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl win over Navy.