Former University of Notre Dame outside linebacker Darius Fleming was selected with the 165th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Fleming was the 30th pick of the fifth round and was the fourth Fighting Irish player taken in this year’s draft.
Fleming was the first Notre Dame linebacker selected in the NFL Draft since Courtney Watson was picked in the second round of the 2004 draft by New Orleans.
Fleming becomes the first Notre Dame player drafted by San Francisco since Arnaz Battle in 2003 (sixth round, 197th selection) although his former teammate and roommate at Notre Dame Ian Williams is currently a lineman for the 49ers after signing as a free agent last year.
A talented pass rusher who played both defensive end and outside linebacker for the Irish, Fleming ranks 10th in Notre Dame history with 15 career sacks. He started 36 of 50 career games played, including all 26 games over his final two seasons.
Fleming posted 158 career tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in his Notre Dame career. He added two interceptions, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one blocked extra point.
As a senior in 2011, Fleming was named Notre Dame’s Lineman of the Year after recording 55 tackles with seven tackles for loss. He produced three and a half sacks, one interception, three pass breakups, forced one fumble and blocked one extra point.
From 2009-10, Fleming totaled 23 tackles for loss and nine sacks to go with 79 tackles and four pass breakups. Fleming led the Irish in 2010 with 11 tackles for loss and six sacks while starting all 13 games at outside linebacker. He recorded a career-high 12 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2009 and started seven of 11 games played.