Donovin Darius, one of the best defensive backs to ever play for Syracuse ranks No. 46 on The Fizz’s top 100 list. Darius set records for the most tackles by a defensive back in SU history with 379 from 1994-1997. In 1995 and 1996 Darius was a Big East All-Conference player. Besides football, Darius was also on the track team for indoor and outdoor hurdles.
Over his four seasons in Orange, Darius played in 43 games. Syracuse was 34-14 during Darius’ collegiate career, including a couple of 9-3 seasons in 1995 and 1996. Syracuse would win the Gator Bowl and then the Liberty Bowl in those two seasons. In his senior season, he set a career high with seven interceptions.
Under the leadership of Paul Pasqualoni, Syracuse finished at No. 21 in the AP Poll. For the season, the Orange went 9-4, including 1 6-1 Big East record. Syracuse finished the regular season on an eight game win streak before meeting No. 10 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. There, the winning streak came to an end as the Wildcat’s beat SU 35-18.
After graduating, Darius was taken with the 25th pick of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Darius played for the Jags for nine of his 10 seasons in the NFL. Darius started every game he played for the Jags, and all but one game in his NFL career.
In 2004 Darius had a career year with five interceptions, seven passes defended and four fumble recoveries. He also set a career high with 89 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Since Darius, the Orange have only had two other defensive backs drafted higher. Teammate Tebucky Jones was drafted three picks before Darius, going to the Patriots. In 2001, the Giants selected Syracuse defensive back Will Allen with the 22nd pick in the Draft.