Darel Middleton
Jackson State

Jackson State lands former Power Five defensive lineman

Former Tennessee and West Virginia defensive lineman Darel Middleton is taking his talent and experience to Jackson State this fall.

Jackson State just added some beef up front with the addition of Darel Middleton, who was recently committed to another SWAC program.

The former Tennessee State lineman has committed to play at JSU this fall. He previously committed to Alabama A&M earlier this year before re-opening his commitment.

Jackson State picks up a player who was committed to Alabama A&M a few weeks ago.


The 6’7, 305 pound defensive tackle hails from eastern Tennessee, where he played at two high schools — Powell High School and Oak Ridge High School. Middleton was a four-star recruit in the 2017 247Sports composite ratings. He spent two seasons at East Mississippi Junior College, helping EMJC win the 2018 national title. He had plenty of offers heading out of JUCO, but ultimately landed at Tennessee. He made an immediate impact in 2019, recording 28 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack to go along with a forced fumble and a blocked kick. He followed that up with 15 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and two pass breakups in 2020. One of his teammates that season was none other than JSU standout wide receiver Malachi Wideman.

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Given an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, Middleton transferred to West Virginia University prior to the 2021 season. He had a pair of tackles and one sack in three games before leaving the team and hitting the transfer portal in October. He committed to AAMU earlier this year, but re-opened his recruitment last month.

Now he will join the Jackson State defensive line, giving them a veteran presence at the ripe age of 25.

Jackson State lands former Power Five defensive lineman
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