Darian was born on August 19, 1982, in Florence, South Carolina to Betty and Israel Durant. He has three brothers and a sister. His younger brother, Justin, played for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and his older brother, Keyshawn, was a quarterback at South Carolina State.
Wilson High School
Darian attended high school at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina. During his senior year of high school, he led the team to South Carolina's 4-A state semi-finals. Durant set a school record with 2,446 passing yards and tied his own record with 25 touchdown passes, which was set during his sophomore season. He was named a Super Prep All-America, Honorable Mention All-America by USA Today and Prep Star All-Region selection. He also played in the South Carolina All-Star game, where he completed 9 of his 11 passing attempts for 215 yards.
University of North Carolina
Darian signed a letter of intent to play college football at the University of North Carolina in 2000. In 2001, during his first NCAA season, Darian established school freshman records with 17 touchdown passes, 142 completions, 1843 passing yards and 1971 yards of total offense. His freshman records for passing yards and completions were broken in 2007 by T. J. Yates. During his freshman season, Durant was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Rookie of the Week five times. He finished second overall in ACC Rookie of the Year voting to Florida State quarterback Chris Rix. As a freshman, Durant split time with Ronald Curry, helping the team to a victory in the 2001 Peach Bowl against Auburn. He was awarded the Jeffrey Cowell Memorial Award as the team's top freshman.
After his college career, Darian was one of the most accomplished athletes in the school's history. He held 51 offensive records at the school. During his sophomore season, Durant set the school's single-game record for passing yards with 417 during a victory against Arizona State.In his junior year, he set single-season records with 389 passing attempts, 234 completions and 2,551 passing yards. Darian had set UNC records with 1,159 passing attempts, 701 completions, 68 passing touchdowns, 8,755 passing yards and 9,630 yards of total offense. While playing football at the University of North Carolina, Durant completed a degree in African-American studies.
Darian was undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft, but signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens and attended their training camp. He was briefly on the team's practice squad, but was cut during the 2005 season.
Darian was placed on the Ottawa Renegades negotiation list in 2006.After the Renegades folded, his rights were obtained by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and later dealt to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a trade that included Corey Holmes. Darian signed with the team on May 11, 2006. During the 2006 season, he served as the team's backup quarterback for eight games, completing a single pass for 14 yards and recording a single rushing attempt for 20 yards in a game against Hamilton. Darian was on the team's practice roster for the remaining ten games.
During the 2007 season, Darian spent the entire season on the active roster, and was available for all of the Roughrider regular season and playoff games, but did not see any game action while serving as the team's third-string quarterback. Darian was on the sidelines as starting quarterback Kerry Joseph led Roughriders to a victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup.
Darian entered the 2009 season as the club's starting quarterback. Darian made the most of his opportunity, becoming the first Roughrider quarterback to start all 18 games since Kent Austin, who last played for the club in 1993. Darian's consistency on the field was one of the reasons he earned the Roughriders' starting quarterback position, along with his ability to run for yards when his pass protection breaks down. Darian was named the Roughriders nominee for CFL Most Outstanding Player, and was selected a West Division All-Star at quarterback. He was also named the Roughriders' Wireless Age Most Popular Player. Darian led the Roughriders to the Grey Cup, where they were defeated by the Montreal Alouettes on a last second field goal. He finished the 2009 season with 4,348 passing yards and 501 rushing yards. Durant threw 24 touchdown passes during the season and also had 21 interceptions, leading the CFL.
In a Grey Cup rematch to kick off the 2010 CFL season, Durant and the Roughriders staged a second half comeback to defeat the Alouettes in overtime. Durant threw five touchdown passes and picked up 478 passing yards during the game. For his efforts, he was named the CFL's Offensive Player of the Week. The CFL named Darian Offensive Player of the Month for September after a month where he passed for 1387 yards and five touchdowns. After Game 17 versus the BC Lions, Darian became only the second Roughrider quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season, with the first being former head coach Kent Austin. Darian was selected as the Roughriders' nominee for the CFL Most Outstanding Player Award.
The 2013 season was arguably the best season of Darian's career. He set career highs in touchdowns, with 31, while limiting his interceptions to only 12. He began the year having attempted 212 consecutive pass attempts without being intercepted joining Dave Dickenson and later Ricky Ray as the only quarterback in CFL history to start 7 consecutive games without throwing an interception. He also set a career-high for passer rating with 95.7 (excluding his 2006 season in which he only completed one pass). He led the Riders to an 11-7 record and home-field in the Western Semi-Finals against the BC Lions where several of his rushing plays won the game for the Riders. After beating Calgary in the Western Final, Durant led the Riders to their fourth Grey Cup championship on their home turf at Mosaic Stadium.
After starting the 2014 season 8-1, Darian suffered a season ending elbow injury. During the Riders first game of the 2015 season, Darian suffered a season ending Achilles tendon injury. Darian returned for the 2016 "Farewell Mosaic" season, playing his final game for the Roughriders on October 30, the final game at old Mosaic Stadium. Darian particpated in the closing ceremonies alongside Roughriders legends George Reed, Roger Aldag and Gene Makowsky.
Darian's rights were traded to the Montreal Alouettes on January 13, 2017. Darian started 15 games for the Alouettes in 2017, finishing with 15 touchdown passes. On May 11, 2018, Darian announced his retirement from professional football.
Two-time Grey Cup champion: 2007, 2013.
Named West Division All-Star: 2009, 2013.
Riders nominee for Most Outstanding Player: 2009, 2010.
Riders Wireless Age Player of the Year as voted by fans: 2009.
Led the league in touchdown passes with 31 in 2013.
Led the league in passing yards with 5,542 in 2010.
Threw five touchdowns on July 1/10 versus Montreal.
Threw for 500 yards on September 17/10 versus Calgary.
First career start July 12/08.
Made CFL debut August 26/06
Against all odds
I'm gonna shine
Against all odds
I'm gonna shine