He's become a solid playmaker no matter where he's playing
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 15, 2011
This Hawaii spring football training, Darryl McBride is making the transition from safety to linebacker to rush end. It is a much easier path than his move from Philadelphia to California the summer before his senior year, a storyline that has drawn references to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
"It is true," McBride said of that fresh start. "I was having problems back in Philly. It all worked out."
McBride spent his senior year at Valley High in Sacramento, then went to Mendocino College for two years, where he earned an associate's degree. He moved to Hawaii in August, then redshirted during the 2010 season.
This spring, he has emerged as a playmaker at elephant, a hybrid position in which he aligns as a stand-up rush end in the 4-3 scheme and an outside linebacker in the 3-4 package.
"Whenever we put him in, he makes plays for us," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "He's a special player."
McBride is expected to have a prominent role in tonight's Warrior Bowl, UH's annual offense vs. defense scrimmage.
The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Ching Athletic Complex, with the scrimmage's first snap at about 7:30. There will be an autograph session to follow.
"I'm looking forward to it," McBride said. "I want to show what I've learned."
WARRIOR BOWL>> What: UH football team’s annual offense vs. defense scrimmage
>> Where: Clarence T.C. Ching Field
>> When: 7:30 tonight
>> Admission: Free
McBride, indeed, has come a long way — geographically, educationally and emotionally.
A difficult point was when he was 8. That was when his mother died.
"It was tough," said McBride, who still does not know the cause of her death. "My family won't really tell me. I hear so many stories."
He moved from California to live with his father, grandmother and five sisters.
"Being the only boy, a lot of stuff fell on me," McBride recalled. "I had a lot of anger stored up in me. There were ups and downs. When there were downs, I felt the pressure."
It was before the start of his sophomore year of high school that he found an outlet.
"I was raised in a tough home," McBride said. "I couldn't get my anger out. I found it in football. I started playing that."
He played at William Penn High as a sophomore, then at Germantown High as a junior. After that, he realized he needed another change.
"I saw where my life was heading," McBride said. "There were some (teammates) who went to big schools, some who went the other way. I could see myself going downhill. I felt moving (back) to California was the best decision."
McBride did well at Mendocino. But because there was uncertainty when he would earn an associate's degree — an eligibility requirement for a player transferring to a Division I-A school — solid offers melted.
McBride and Mendocino running back Sterling Jackson contacted UH associate head coach Rich Miano, who is in charge of the Warriors' walk-on program.
Miano encouraged both players to attend UH with the hope that impressive play eventually would merit a scholarship.
Jackson, projected to be the Warriors' No. 1 running back, goes on scholarship in August.
McBride said he also hopes to eventually earn one.
McBride uses loans, grants, financial aid and help from his grandmother to pay for tuition and school expenses. He is taking 19 credits this semester.
"I'm working hard, trying to get my grades up," McBride said. "All I can do is control what I do. The coaches make the decisions on how much I'll play."