The Bears will lean on fifth-year man Matt Swan to lead the tight ends, but Darden will certainly push for significant playing in his third season at Missouri State.
2012: Played in 8 games as a redshirt freshman ... Provided the Bears with a solid and sizeable reserve and special teams presence.
2011: Redshirted his freshman season at Missouri State ... Had 2 receptions for 30 yards in 2012 spring scrimmages.
High School: Helped lead Coach Duron Sutton's Ridgeway High Roadrunners to an undefeated (7-0) league record and 13-1 overall mark that culminated in a Tennessee state semifinal appearance in 2010 ... Had 29 catches, 450 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010 ... Earned a spot in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl All-Star Game ... Also played as a power forward for the Roadrunners' basketball team, which was ranked ninth in Tennessee.
Personal: Richard Ashante Darden was born 5/30/93 in Memphis, Tenn. ... Son of Richard Darden and Shaundra Gatewood of Memphis ... Has two brothers, Sean-Gregory and Xavier ... Comes from a football tradition, with both his father (Austin Peay) and grandfather (Tennessee State) earning Division I FCS All-American status ... Majoring in Sport and Park Administration.