Darius Slay is a professional American football player who plays as a starting cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Slay spots the No. 23 jersey with the Lions since they drafted him in the 2013 National Football League (NFL) draft. Despite getting off to a slow start in his NFL career, he has persevered to become one of the most formidable cornerbacks in the league today. Want to know more about this focused young man who became a father when he was just 15? Then come with me.
His Early Life
Darius Demetrius Slay Jr. was born on New Year’s Day (1st January) 1991 in Brunswick, a town in Glynn County, Georgia. He had his high school education at Brunswick High School where he was a multisport athlete. He lettered and excelled in football, basketball, and track. With regard to football, Slay played both as an offensive player (running back) and a defensive player (defensive back) and gave some impressive performances in both positions. By the end of his senior year in high school (2008), he was crowned the best defensive back in the entire state of Georgia by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Slay, who is nicknamed Big Play Slay, played college football for two institutions, namely the Itawamba Community College (2009 and 2010) and Mississippi State University (2011 and 2012) and it was in college that he developed fully into a cornerback. In his two years at Mississippi State, he recorded 62 tackles (37 solo), 1 forced fumble and 6 interceptions which he returned for 173 yards and 1 touchdown.
Darius Slay took part in the 2013 NFL draft and was picked in the 2nd round by the Detroit Lions as the 36th overall pick that year. He has been with the Lions ever since and despite being hampered by some injury challenges, Big Play Slay has still managed to carve out a reputation as one of the most consistent and feared cornerbacks in the NFL. Unarguably, Slay’s best season so far has been the 2017 season. He started all 16 games for the Lions and finished the season with 60 tackles (out of which 54 was solo), 26 passes defended and 8 interceptions which he returned for 73 yards. In doing so, he became the first Detroit Lions player to reach seven interceptions in one season since 2014 and the first Lions cornerback to do so since 1983. He also set a record as the first NFL player since the year 2000 to record five tackles, three pass deflections, and two interceptions in two different games in the same season. As a testament to the record-breaking season he had, Slay was named as the best cornerback in the NFL (first-team All-Pro) and also selected for the 2018 Pro Bowl. Slay has featured in over 79 games for the Lions recording 272 tackles (out of which 234 was solo), 78 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack and 15 interceptions which he returned for 158 yards.
Darius Slay is married to his long-time girlfriend, Jennifer Williams. She is a native of Clinton, Oklahoma and the two reportedly started dating sometime in 2015. The lovely couple tied the knot on the 16th of June 2018 in a beautiful ceremony in Slay’s hometown of Brunswick. For the ceremony, Williams was clad in a jaw-dropping strapless gown while Slay slew in a gorgeous red suit. Just like her man, Williams is a gifted athlete who played basketball at Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she was a four-year guard.
The Slays have a lovely blended family of six. It consists of Darius’ first son, Darion, who was born when he was just 15. A second son, Demetrius Darius Slay, borne for him by another lady in 2015 and Trent, Williams’ son from an earlier relationship. The last (but certainly not the least) of the bunch is Desirae, the couple’s first child together, who was born in February 2017.
Slay himself was born to young parents. His mother, Stephanie Lowe (née Walthour) was 13 when she gave birth to him while his father, Darius Slay Sr. was 14. The footballer credits his mom and grandma with helping him overcome the challenges of fatherhood at a young age and enabling him to fulfill his dreams.
How Much Does He Make as Salary
Presently, the Brunswick born NFL star is one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league with an annual average salary of $12,037,500. He is currently signed to a four-year contract worth $48,150,000 with the Detroit Lions. The contract, which was signed in 2016, includes a $14,500,000 signing bonus and $23,100,000 guaranteed.
Height and Weight
Slay is exactly 6 feet tall or 1.83 m and weighs 190 lbs or 86kg. Even though he does not have a massive build, he nonetheless has a good stature for the position he plays. Darius is a physical tackler as well as a hard worker and is very good at causing problems for wide receivers and quarterbacks, a fact that both Tom Brady and Carson Wentz can attest to.