When DaVaris Daniels was suspended from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for academic misconduct, no one knew whether or not Daniels, a star wide receiver, would return to the squad.
Now, instead of coming back and risking a significant drop in playing time, Daniels will gamble on his NFL future.
Daniels, son of former NFL star defensive tackle Phillip Daniels, declared for the NFL Draft last week and is seen by many analysts as a mid-round talent. Still, with the off-field problems still fresh in teams’ minds, Daniels could see his stock significantly slip especially when the later rounds become more of a conglomeration.
In an interview with the Fighting Irish student paper, Daniels said he had flip flopped on the decision several times leading up to last Thursday’s deadline.
“I’ve changed my mind at least six times so far, and it’s still going,” he said. “I’ve still got a while before I’ve got to decide anything, so I’m not trying to rush.”
During his two seasons with the program, Daniels caught 80 passes for 1,235 yards, but the recent influx in youth among the receiving corps could have endangered his playing time for the 2015 season. Daniels was one of five players involved in the academic misconduct scandal and two of those players – defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and defensive back KeiVarae Russell – will return to the team for next season.
After a disappointing finish to the 2014 campaign, the Fighting Irish will need all the help they can get to make their first ever appearance in the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame began the year 7-1 before dropping the final four games of the season and switching quarterbacks from Everett Golson to Malik Zaire.
*Section Photo credit to Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports