At the time he chose the Aggies over Nebraska, Claiborne held offers from Arkansas, TCU, Arizona State, Tech, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, among others. The Horned Frogs and Rebels aggressively pursued the underrated linebacker up until National Signing Day.
Perhaps the most versatile and athletic of a highly-regarded group of linebackers, Darian dominated on both sides of the ball in high school. As a junior, he led the Pelicans to the best season in school history (a 10-3 record and a state quarterfinal appearance). He starred at quarterback and rushed for 1,160 yards and 19 touchdowns on 219 carries and threw for 1,614 yards and 17 TDs. On defense, the sideline-to-sideline linebacker totaled 128 tackles, 12 TFLs and 3 sacks. The breakout 2011 season ended with Claiborne earning Class 3A All-State honors. He was also named 7-3A’s Defensive MVP.
As a senior, Darian totaled 59 solo tackles, 9 TFLs and picked off three passes. He was 76-of-166 passing for 1,338 yards and 11 TDs and added 919 yards and 7 rushing scores on 153 carries to earn 3A first team All-State honors and All-District mention on both sides of the ball.
A four-year starter on defense, he also starred in basketball and track. Claiborne projects as a playmaking weakside linebacker in the Aggie 4-3 scheme. He combines tremendous range, explosive hips (easily identifiable when you see him run through ball-carriers) and great closing speed combined with a 6-1, 230-pound frame.
Perhaps what most jumps out when scouting Darian on tape is that he’s a leader and very instinctive football player. Claiborne has a feel for the game and plays with great vision. He seems a step ahead of the rest of the guys on the field -- a non-coachable trait that should carry him a long way.
Stats2012: 59 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 INT, 5 PBUs; 76-of-166 passing for 1,338 yards and 11 TDs; 153 carries for 919 yards and 7 TDs
Honors2011: 7-3A First Team All-District; 7-3A District MVP; First Team All-Metro; LSWA 3A First Team All-State; 3A First Team All-State (AP)
2012: LSWA 3A First Team All-State (AP); Offense-Defense All-American; 7-3A First Team All-District (defense); 7-3A Second Team All-District (offense); Warrick Dunn Award