Oklahoma State grad transfer Daniels takes chance to play with brother
Darrion Daniels, a four-year contributor at defensive tackle for Oklahoma State, officially became a Husker on Friday when Nebraska announced his addition to the program on Twitter.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder — who had his senior season cut short by a pinky injury that required surgery — is the older brother of current Husker defensive lineman Damion Daniels. He had 64 tackles and two sacks over four seasons at OSU and was a key vocal leader for the team this season, even traveling on road trips after his injury.
Daniels — who will have one season at Nebraska as a graduate transfer — turned down offers from schools like Iowa, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma out of Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne High School. His best season at OSU was 2017, when he started 10 games while logging 26 tackles (five for loss), half a sack and two pass breakups. He earned the Vernon Grant Award for outstanding leadership, spirit and enthusiasm following the season.
World-Herald messages to Daniels weren’t immediately returned.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said in October he hoped “like crazy” Daniels would choose to remain with his program. But the big man informed him in early December he intended to transfer.
“We lost a defensive lineman, a 325-pounder. It’s hard for us to find those guys,” Gundy said during a press conference. “They don’t grow that many of ’em around here, so I hated to see that. (Darrion) came in and said he wanted to play his last year with his brother. Short conversation. He had said originally he was wanting to be here, but he had a conversation with his parents and he felt like they wanted to be in a location with him and his brother on Saturdays and that was one way to do it.”
Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Wednesday that additional signatures could be arriving before the early signing period concludes at the end of Friday. Daniels becomes the 24th scholarship signee in the 2019 class.
“If we have spots after (Wednesday), it’s going to be the best we can get,” Frost said, “guys that fit us the best whether it’s a grad transfer, a junior college kid or a high school kid.”
The father of Darrion and Damion is Tony Daniels, who was a 250-pound All-American D-lineman at Texas Tech in the mid-1990s and taught his kids about technique and competition from a young age.
The siblings have been fierce rivals since childhood, Damion told The World-Herald last year. They couldn’t play in Pop Warner leagues — they were too young to play on older teams and too big to play in their respective age groups — and instead joined a local select program. The younger Daniels often played against athletes two years his senior while doing more than holding his own.
By high school, Damion earned the nickname “Baby D” to differentiate him from his brother.