Where Are They Now? John Darr
By ODU Athletics
Where Are They Now?
Ever wonder what your favorite Monarchs are doing now that their career at Old Dominion is complete? ODUSports.com has talked to former Monarchs for an installment of “Where Are They Now”? We will catch up with former Monarchs to find out what they are doing and thoughts on their time at Old Dominion.
Today’s featured Monarch is John Darr. A member of the first team in 2009, Darr is the third all-time leading tackler in ODU history with 232 stops. His younger brother, Tyler, is currently a true freshman on this year's team.
Q: What have you been up to lately?
JD: I worked for Pepsi as a delivery supervisor. I started as an account manager and six months later I got promoted to delivery supervisor. All of the Pepsi trucks on the roads that go to the thousands of stores, all of the colleges on the peninsula, Hampton, CNU, anywhere you see Pepsi, my trucks deliver. I have about 30 drivers that make around 200 plus stops a day, it’s a pretty cool gig.
Q: How did you get involved with Pepsi?
JD: When I was in graduate school I worked with Chuck Gray and Colby Owen in ODU Sports Properties. I saw an opening with Pepsi and I knew there was a connection there, Colby and Chuck recommended me and I got the job.
Q: What do you miss about football?
JD: A lot of stuff. Especially the atmosphere on gameday, and the cheer of the crowd and seeing our friends and family in the stands. Putting the pads on with your closest friends and play the sport you love. I miss it a lot.
Q: What do you miss about Old Dominion?
JD: I love the city of Norfolk. I lived behind the Ted Constant Center and it was a great central location. It’s where I met my closest friends and spent five years of my life.
Q: Are you able to stay in touch with your former teammates?
JS: Oh yea, especially the guys I roomed with, Alex Arain and Chris Lovitt. We stay in touch frequently.
Q: Have you been back to any ODU games as a fan?
JD: I went to three games last year and plan to go to more this season. It’s a different experience watching as a fan. It is kind of cool though, to see it from the other side of things. It’s good to sit back and enjoy the fan experience. You can’t really soak it all in when you’re playing.
Q: What are some of the memories that stand out from your time at Old Dominion?
JD: Even though I was redshirting walking out of the tunnel that first game, how electric that stadium was, was incredible. Making the playoffs in 2011 and 2012, that was pretty cool.
Q: You played through the transition year of 2013, what was that like?
JD: We were just talking about it the other day. People wanted to say we weren’t playing for anything, but I saw it as a stepping stone for the program. We were building something and to get a chance to play FBS competition, East Carolina, Maryland, Pittsburgh, that’s how I saw it.
Q: What was the recruiting process like for you?
JD: They sold us on what it could be. That we would be setting records instead of breaking records. When I came on my recruiting trip the stadium wasn’t done yet, it was dirt and concrete. The L.R. Hill Complex was done and that was really nice.
Q: Is there any advice from Coach Wilder that you took to heart?
JD: I had a lot of one-on-one conversations with Coach Wilder. He’s done a lot for me and given me advice on how to work hard and be successful. My freshman year he sat me down and told me I needed to get my ducks in a row. He took the time to let me know where I stood and that really got me on track. That got me in gear and I put the extra hours in that I needed to to be successful.
Q: Your younger brother, Tyler, is on the team as a walk-on true freshman linebacker. What’s it like for him to be on this year’s team.
JD: It’s pretty crazy, it’s cool to see, to be one of the first families to have brothers play at Old Dominion, to build a tradition to play there. I look forward to see him build his career and see what he can do. I’m seven years older than him but we’re close. I would watch him play in high school and watch his Hudl film. I try to coach him up, we communicate on a daily basis.