The boy had every legitimate reason why East Cleveland would be the place where football ended for him.
He was tall but too thin, especially for linebacker.
At Shaw, he didn't play for a high school to which college recruiters necessarily made a special visit.
And, because of injuries, he played in just 10 varsity games. As a senior, he was only able to suit up for the last three after breaking an ankle in summer workouts.
"He was determined to do," said his father, John Talley, who still lives in East Cleveland with his wife, Jacqueline, "whatever he wanted to do."
Darryl Talley starred in track and football at Shaw in the late 1970s and worked as a lifeguard at old Forbes Pool next to the school.
Rival schools were well aware of his name, to the point where there was almost a mystique about him. But the injuries robbed him of a varsity football career that could have had all the big-name schools swooping in for a peek.
"When he came back," recalled Rod Williams, who played safety behind Talley, "he made like 30 tackles that first game."
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