Darius (left) in 2018
|No. 20, 40|
|Date of birth:August 12, 1975|
|Place of birth: Camden, New Jersey|
|NFL Draft: 1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* Jacksonville Jaguars ( 1998– 2006)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* 2x All-Big East (1995-1996)|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Donovin Lee Darius (born August 12, 1975) is a former American football safety in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars 25th overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, and played for nine seasons with the team. He played for the Miami Dolphins in 2007. He played college football at Syracuse.
Darius played for two years at Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, New Jersey before transferring in his junior year. Darius is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey.
Darius played at Syracuse University, setting the team record for tackles by a defensive back with 379. He was a Big East All-Conference player in 1995 and 1996, and also lettered in indoor and outdoor hurdles, graduating in 1997 with a degree in exercise science and a minor in coaching.
Darius was selected 25th overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, then the highest pick ever by the team for a defensive back. He was the sixth defensive back selected, behind Tebucky Jones, Duane Starks, and others. He was named to the All-Rookie team and led Jaguar defensive backs with 108 tackles in 14 games. In 1999, he switched to strong safety and continued to sharpen his skills as a defensive force.
In 2004, Darius led the secondary in tackles for a seventh straight season and posted career highs in forced fumbles and interceptions. His season-ending injury in 2005 stopped his consecutive start streak at 37.
In 2004, Darius was fined $75,000 for pulling off an extremely dangerous clothesline tackle on Green Bay Packers wide receiver Robert Ferguson. However, Darius later apologized to Ferguson for the incident and visited him at the hospital. Prior to his release, he had been with the Jaguars longer than any other active player along with running back Fred Taylor.
Darius signed a three-year extension on August 29, 2005 which put him under contract through 2008. However, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the Jaguars' second game of the 2005 NFL season and was placed on injured reserve.
On December 14, 2006, Darius was released by the Jaguars.
Darius signed a one-day ceremonial contract with the Jaguars on March 1, 2013 to retire as a member of the team. He currently serves on the NFL Players Association Executive Committee and resides in Jacksonville, Florida, where he earned an MBA from Jacksonville University.
- Staff. "Oakland signs Donovin Darius The veteran safety from Camden adds experience to the Raiders' secondary.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2007. Accessed September 7, 2011. "Darius, who will turn 32 next month, had been a mainstay in Jacksonville's secondary since he was the club's first-round pick in the 1998 draft out of Syracuse. But the Jaguars released him in June, trying to get younger and faster on defense. He is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High in Camden."
- Donovin Darius, National Football League. Accessed November 12, 2007.