'I just dropped the ziti': Jersey City's Frank Darby recalls moment he was drafted to Falcons

A Jersey City native is headed to the NFL now that he has been drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.

News 12 Staff

May 7, 2021, 1:23 AM

Updated 1,109 days ago


A Jersey City native is headed to the NFL now that he has been drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.
Frank Darby was picked in the sixth round of the draft last weekend. He says that he knew that his name would be called but just didn’t know when. He says that the Chicago Bears were showing interest in him, but then his phone rang.
“I was eating food and I grabbed the ziti and the phone rang and I saw the Atlanta area code and I just dropped the ziti,” he says.
That call was the Falcons who picked the former Lincoln High School wide receiver with a 187th pick.
“You don’t understand how excited I am,” he says.
Darby played college football at Arizona State University. He already had a special connection with Atlanta when the Falcons used ASU’s facilities for practice.
“I remember going there and that was actually my first time going to an NFL practice. It was Atlanta Falcons and I was like, wow, that’s crazy. I’m actually on the team now,” Darby says.
Darby has dealt with struggles in his draft process. While he was training in February, his mother La’Dorne passed away unexpectedly.
“Keep going. That’s what she wants…She doesn’t want to see you out here in Jersey City doing these wrong things and going down the wrong way,” he says.
With his mother’s memory in his heart, Darby will report to rookie minicamp next week. He says that the Falcons can expect him to bring the energy.
“’Deep Threat Darby.’ If you need me to go deep, just throw it past the safety,” Darby says.
But most importantly, Darby says that he wants to set a trend for kids back in Jersey City – teaching them to avoid distractions and stay focused.
“I told them when it happened, my new name is hope. Call me hope in Jersey City because that’s what I’m doing,” Darby says. “I went this hard to go out there and show you that we can make it out of Jersey City.”
Atlanta's rookie minicamp begins next Friday.

More from News 12