The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

May 15, 2013

Former WVU star Talley successful business owner

MORGANTOWN — Darryl Talley, one of the hardest-hitting and most productive tacklers in West Virginia University football history, is now owner and operator of a successful business in Florida.

His company manufactures signs for use during construction work on national highways. There are three different outlets in the Sunshine State.

Talley, a native of East Cleveland, Ohio, earned letters as a linebacker here in 1979-80-81-82. He was credited with 484 tackles, then an all-time career school record.

He also had 19 quarterback sacks.

After graduating, Talley was a second-round selection of the Buffalo Bills in the NFL draft. And the 6-foot-4, 231-pound speedy head-hunter became that club’s career tackle record-setter in 12 years.

WVU’s head coach for 21 years, Don Nehlen, called Talley “one of the greatest players we ever had” during his winningest-ever coaching reign.

“I always enjoyed playing football at West Virginia,” said Talley, who now lives in Orlando, Fla. WVU fans certainly loved to watch him perform, too.

Talley, who became the school’s third consensus All-American in 1982, actually was redshirted by coach Frank Cignetti as a freshman in 1978 and he said it was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Talley was a skinny kid and sitting out a year enabled him to become bigger and stronger.

So he played only one year for Cignetti and three for Nehlen. He was a team captain as a senior and helped his team to back-to-back 9-3 records as Nehlen’s program elevated to solid national stature.

Nehlen recalled that Talley preserved a 19-18 upset win against a strong Maryland team in 1982. He did so by breaking up the Terrapins’ attempt for a game-winning two-point conversion.

But Talley remembers well the heartbreaking 16-13 loss to No. 4-ranked Pitt as perhaps his best game performance as a Mountaineer. So do I. He raced all over the field like a wild man, making tackles and breaking up passes.

“Yes, I remember that day,” he said. “I thought I played very well. I played that way because I wanted to beat Pitt.”

Besides 12 years as a professional with Buffalo, he played one year with Atlanta and the other with Minnesota. He also appeared in four Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls.

Talley, who was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, was then inducted into the National Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame a year ago. Hopefully, a deserved spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame will follow soon.

Asked what made him so tough and successful as a linebacker, Darryl had a simple reply: “I’ve got a couple things. No. 1, it was my desire to win. No. 2, it was my upbringing that you have to work for everything you get (because) nobody gives you anything.”

Talley and wife Jeannie have two daughters, Alexandra and Gabrielle.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo