- DaVaris Daniels, son of Redskins' defensive lineman Phillip Daniels, has committed to play for Notre Dame next year. (Photo: Associated Press)
The tweet went out around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday. DaVaris Daniels, son of Washington Redskins defensive end, Phillip Daniels, and one of the top high school prospects in the nation, had finally made his decision of where he would play collegiately next season.
"I am proud to announce that my son DaVaris has committed to Notre Dame. Congrats to him on his decision. ND you got one hell of an athlete," Phillip Daniels tweeted.
DaVaris Daniels, a 6-foot-2, 164-pound senior at Vernon Hills High School in Illinois, had originally planned on making his decision in June. A press conference was scheduled, but then he had second thoughts, so the press conference was canceled, and his father told him to take his time.
"He had 16 or 17 offers. Good offers," Daniels said of his son. "Came down to Notre Dame, Miami and Oklahoma. Loved Notre Dame, the coaches and that area there, they all wanted him to go to Notre Dame and he was hearing that in his ear. He liked Oklahoma a lot, he liked Miami. So we canceled the press conference and I said, 'You take your time. We won’t have a press conference again, you just make your decision.'"
The Younger Daniels this season has shined on a team that has outscored its opponents 240-0. He has 10 catches for 277 yards and four touchdowns, he has 203 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He has a touchdown pass to his credit, he returned a punt for a touchdown, has three interceptions and one defensive touchdown for the 5-0 Cougars.
A relieved DaVaris Daniels called his father with the news late Tuesday.
"I was at IHOP, actually," Phillip Daniels said with a smile. "And he called and said, ‘Dad, I’ve made my decision.’ And I said, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘You already know. They’ve been No. 1 for a long time.’ I said, ‘Notre Dame?’ He said, ‘Yup, Notre Dame.’ I said, ‘OK, you talk to the coach?’ And he said yeah he had talked to the coaches and everything, so I said, ‘Congratulations, man. I’m going to give you 10, 20 minutes to have your fun on Facebook or whatever, then I’ll post it out there and let everybody know.”
Phillip Daniels had hoped that his alma mater, Georgia, would offer his son a scholarship, but the Bulldogs didn't.
“Yeah, I’m a little disappointed they didn’t offer, but at the same time, it’s life," said Daniels, who was a three-year starter at Georgia from 1992-95, playing defensive tackle as a sophomore, linebacker as a junior and defensive end as a senior. "I realize, too, that Georgia’s never been a receiver school. And my son figured that out. We talked about it a lot. They didn’t offer, and that was kind of sad with me being a 15-year guy [in the NFL], and my son being one of the top receivers in the nation.
"But you know what, I still love Georgia," Daniels added. "I played there, they gave me my opportunity. My son made his decision. I told him all along it was his decision and whatever he decides, that’s where he’s going. So, no hard feelings. I wish them the best. But, if my son ever plays Georgia, whether it be championship game, or any game during the season, I’m pulling for Notre Dame while he’s there."
Daniels is hoping that gets the chance to some day welcome his son into the NFL while still an active player himself.
"We joke about it all the time," he laughed. "I feel good. I feel like I have another two, three more [seasons] in me. But we’ll see. It ain’t up to me. It’s up to the people above to keep me around and make that happen. But I know I can do it. I feel great, I take care of myself every year. And if there’s a lockout, I know I can do it because I’ll go back to [competitive weight] lifting and I’ll come back stronger than ever. We’ll see what happens."
"It’s been exciting," Daniels added of his son's recruitment process. "I get a chance to finish football and then live through him and it keeps football living in our family until my 6-year-old is ready."