PULLMAN, Wash. — Wednesday was national signing day and WSU snagged local guard Dylan Darling.
The Central Valley standout pretty much broke every GSL scoring record this year as he averaged 35.6 points per game in league play and also broke the league’s single-game scoring record when he put up 58 against North Central.
"It’s a dream come true, really. I mean, I can’t be more excited," said Dylan of signing with the Cougs.
WSU only offered Dylan a little over a month ago on March 8. When Kyle Smith made the call, it was a surreal moment for both of Dylan's parents.
"I think we both kind of looked kind of looked at each other like, 'Is this really Kyle Smith?' So I think that was pretty special," said Dylan's dad, James.
Smith offered Darling and became the first and only Power Five coach to offer the Washington 4A Player of the Year.
Sixteen days later, and Dylan was committed to the Cougs.
"I kind of knew," said Darling. "Just knowing the coaching staff and everybody down there, I was like, 'I think this is the place for me.' I took the visit, and when you know, you know, and I got that feeling."
Now, you may recognize Dylan’s last name.
That’s because his dad James was a standout WSU linebacker.
James was named All-Pac-10 twice and was also named a second-team All-American by the Sporting News in 1996. He went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, the Jets, and the Cardinals after being drafted in the second round.
Dylan’s mom also is a WSU alum.
Wednesday was a dream that became a reality for the family.
"I think we probably cried more than he did," said Dylan's mom Kim, referring to Dylan. "Us both being Cougars, we were just so thrilled. It’s been Dylan’s dream school for as long as we can remember. He was at those games when he was little itty bitty. We’re just beyond grateful and thrilled about the whole thing."
"It means everything," said Dylan of going to WSU. "Growing up a Coug, and then being able to be a Coug, it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty special."
Darling's 58 point game this season was no fluke.
He also scored 47 against Mt. Spokane, a team that only lost by three points in the state semis this season.
In a state tournament play-in game against Woodinville, Darling hung 48 points and snagged 14 rebounds in a 69-66 Bears win to send them to state.
He also ends his Central Valley career with well over 1,000 points.
However, Darling's lone DI offer before WSU stepped in was at Idaho State.
He certainly proved some people wrong going to a DI Power Five program, and he’s pretty thrilled about that.
"It’s good. It puts a smile on my face," said Dylan with a big grin. "There’s been doubters since I can’t remember. To be able to do this is pretty cool."
So get ready Pullman, because the Darling clan is back, and they plan on letting you know.
"His whole crew will be at every game cheering. We’re ready," said Kim.
"We’re going to have a bus that just goes back and forth between here and Pullman with aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews. It’s going to be something special. We can’t wait for these next four years," said James.