Darius Daies told his high school coach that he was interested in Ivy League schools. Then, after one of those schools studied his film, he received his first scholarship offer.
Daies, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound junior running back at Chaminade High School in suburban St. Louis, recently received that Ivy League opportunity from Columbia.
“My coach had told me a few hours earlier that he had sent my tape in to Columbia and then their coach followed me (on Twitter) and told me that I got the offer,” Daies said. “I was really excited about that.”
Daies had told his coach, Antoine Torrey, that he was interested in going to an Ivy League school and had already researched Columbia when he got the good news.
Now he’s motivated for his next offer.
“It’s really exciting,” Daies said. “It gives you a little boost because after you get the first one, you know you can get more now. It just gives me something to work a little bit harder for.”
Daies said he’s also interested in talking to Harvard and Dartmouth and likes Northwestern, where Chaminade teammate Roderick Campbell recently signed and where Daies visited last summer.
The Class of 2017 prospect described his strengths as a running back as his strength and his speed, which he estimated to be in the 4.5 to 4.6 second range in the 40-yard dash.
Daies had a strong junior season for the Red Devils, playing in a run-heavy attack that featured several running backs getting the ball.
He was Chaminade’s leading rusher with 874 yards on 139 carries, an average of 6.3 per carry, and scored 10 touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 48 yards, giving him 922 total yards.
“We ran a spread and we switched out backs a lot,” Daies said. “It helped us out a lot throughout the season because you couldn’t key on one back.”
Chaminade went 12-2 and finished second in Missouri Class 5, the state’s second-largest classification.
The Red Devils return several key players for next season, including Division I prospects in defensive tackle Trevor Trout and wide receiver Reggie Crawford. For his part, Daies is working to get better.
“I’ve been going to Elite (Football Academy) a lot just to work on my agility and footwork,” Daies said. “Then I’ve been training with another trainer on upper body and more footwork.”