A tale of two Dariuses

As one Darius goes down, another Darius is stepping up for the Iowa State football team.

With receiver Darius Darks nursing a hamstring injury, Reedley (Calif.) Community College transfer Darius Reynolds is quickly proving he will play a big part in the Cyclones’ new spread offense as well as returning kicks.           

The 6-2, 201-pound junior has impressed during training camp.  

“He’s a strong receiver and is exciting with the ball in his hands,” head coach Paul Rhoads said.

Reynolds played quarterback and receiver in junior college. Rhoads said he wasn’t proven at either spot but continued recruiting him because “there were obvious physical abilities that we felt would be a benefit to our football team and he’s proven that and then some in this camp.”

Reynolds had a solid first year at Reedley, totaling 2,501 yards total offense and 24 touchdowns, then was kicked off the team last season for a violation of team rules.

The four-star recruit was on the radar of ISU’s previous coaching staff under Gene Chizik and that continued when Rhoads was hired in mid-December.

Rhoads did his homework on Reynolds and ultimately was confident in offering him a scholarship.

By all accounts, Reynolds was a good guy who made some mistakes.

“Everywhere we turned the story was the same,” Rhoads said. “We didn’t even see it as much of a risk. He’s been fantastic not only in his paying ability but how he’s conducted himself and worked.”

Darks has missed a good chunk of training camp because of the injury, which also limited him in the spring.

The sophomore is the team’s leading returning pass catcher and is expected to be a big piece of the offensive puzzle. He’s got some catching up to do.

“He’s been down long enough that his timing is going to be off and he’s going to be rusty,” Rhoads said. “The positive of it is he’ll have fresh legs when it comes time to go.”

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