Orleans Darkwa: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants, NFL

Darkwa ran for a first quarter touchdown for the New York Giants on Sunday and was, suddenly, a very popular Google search. (Getty)

Wait, who?

Orleans Darkwa has been on the New York Giants roster since 2014, but Big Blue fans may have found themselves googling the running back at bit ore on Sunday afternoon when he made a surprising on-field appearance against the Dallas Cowboys.

So, who exactly is Darkwa? Here’s what you need to know:

1. Darkwa Played College Football at Tulane

Orleans Darkwa, Tulane, New York Giants, NFL

Darkwa set nearly a dozen rushing records during his four-year career at Tulane. (Getty)

Darkwa was one of the most prolific running backs in recent Tulane history, a four-year letterman who ran for 2,953 yards and 39 touchdowns over the course of his college career.

He was also a strong option in the passing game, hauling in 77 passes for 595 yards. As if that wasn’t enough, Darkwa also completed 3-of-5 passing attempts for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

Darkwa wrapped up his Green Wave career tied for first in rushing touchdowns (39), second in total touchdowns (39), third in rushing attempts (663), fourth in rushing yards (2,953) and 100-yard rushing games (10), sixth in points scored (236), eighth in rushing yards per game (64.2) and 10th in both all-purpose yards (3,698) and yards per carry (4.45).

He also holds the No. 2, No. 3 and a tie for the No. 4 spots in single-season history in rushing touchdowns.

In other words, Darkwa had a pretty good college career.

2. Darkwa Was Signed by the Dolphins as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2014

Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants, NFL

Darkwa played in four games with the Miami Dolphins last year before being moved to the practice squad. (Getty)

He didn’t hear his name called during draft weekend, but Darkwa signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. Although his numbers at Tulane were impressive, a lot of NFL teams were concerned with the running back’s frequent brushes with injuries.

He had a hamstring injury that slowed him down during his sophomore season and an ankle injury that kept him sidelined throughout much of his junior year.

Darkwa appeared in four games with the Dolphins in the 2014 season before being released on October 6. He was signed to the team’s practice squad shortly after.

3. He Signed With the New York Giants in November 2014

Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants, NFL

Darkwa notched one touchdown run last season after being picked up by the New York Giants in November. (Getty)

Darkwa became a Giant in November last season, signed off the Dolphins practice squad and joining Big Blue’s active roster.

“It was the opportunity I wanted,” he told media after his first practice with New York.

Darkwa played seven games with the Giants last season and was the squad’s leading rusher in the preseason, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

4. Darkwa Grew Up in Nashville, Tennessee

Although his fist name may suggest otherwise, Darkwa grew up in Nashville, Tennessee to parents Orleans and Juliana. He played high school football at The Ensworth School and was named a three-star prospect by ESPN.com and Rivals.com.

Over the course of his final two seasons, Darkwa helped lead the Tigers to a 20-2 overall record, including a 13-0 finish in conference play. As a senior he was named the Nashville Daily News Offensive Back of the Year and The Tennessean Dream Team. He was also a finalist for Division II Mr. Football after racking up 2,243 yards and 24 touchdowns in his senior season.

5. He’s Got a Reputation for Speed

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Although he didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine after college, Darkwa found different ways to showcase his speed. He posted a 4.46 finish in the 40-yard dash at Tulane’s Pro Day in 2014. He told the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

A lot of teams didn’t expect me to run as fast as I ran so they are praising that. I’ve talked to specifically some teams’ running back coach and they have gotten a chance to look at my film and they’ve become impressed with how I can do it all as far as pass blocking.

He’s also pretty strong. Darkwa recorded 15 bench press reps and a 37.5-inch vertical at his Pro Day. By comparison, Andre Willians ran a 4.56 in his 40-yard dash.