OAKLEY, Calif. -- Darrell Daniels (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) looked like a senior who just finished a final.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound receiver had a wide smile on his face. He was closing in on winter break and there was a clear sense of relief in his demeanor.
With a black beanie sitting high on his head, the Washington commit was one step closer to a college career he is already preparing for.
“I’ve just been working out, trying to get ready for next season, hopefully try to come out as a true freshman and help the team out as much as possible,” Daniels said.
During his final season of high school football, Daniels caught 54 passes for 947 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 332 yards and six touchdowns on 40 carries.
When asked what his senior season taught him, Daniels said, “I learned that you’ve got to grow and compete at everything you do. You’ve got to show that you’re the best any way that you can.”
Daniels will take that mentality with him to college. Right now, he expects that career to start in Seattle. However, he does plan to take a visit to UCLA on Jan. 11. He also expects to visit Washington the following week.
“I’m pretty locked in to Washington, but I’m going to go out and take some trips and see what happens from there,” he said. “I just want to see what else I have out there, that’s about it.”
While he plans to take a look, he doesn’t think anything will change his mind. He likes what the program has planned for his future, both on the field and through academics.
He feels comfortable with what the Huskies have to offer.
“The coaching staff made it feel like home just like my coaching staff here,” he said. “It’s another great coaching staff to be around.”
While Daniels is wrapping up the recruiting process, his Freedom teammate, Joe Mixon, is just getting started. The junior running back already has six offers, including Washington and Michigan.
Mixon likes the Huskies and could end up reuniting with Daniels in college. But the receiver isn’t trying to influence Mixon’s decision.
“That’s his decision,” Daniels said. “If he wants to come, he can come. I’m not going to force him to do anything, because I didn’t want anyone to force me to do anything I didn’t want to do in this process.”
Daniels is currently getting ready for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. He will be joined on the West roster by current Washington commits Dane Crane (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita), Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster), Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) and Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande).
“I’ll get to play with some of the other commits,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”