Joe Dailey - QB - 6-1, 200, 4.4/40 - Jersey City, NJ (St Peters Preparatory School) - Since Joe decided that Syracuse wasn't the place for him and that Nebraska was, only he knows what kind of deluge of negativity there really was. From the University trying to coax him back, to friends trying to coax him back to some of the local media in New Jersey that tried to pain Joe as immature and even selfish.
Well, all that has finally quieted down now and Joe can think of things other than what was, rather what will be. "It's quiet now, the way I like it." Joe said, but said that he's not overly happy with how some of this was all perceived. "I don't want to talk bad about reporters, but sometimes, schools pull out on kids and they don't dog the schools, but the moment the kid does it, they dog the kid initially, right away."
Dailey points out an obvious problem with some media and especially, the local fans. If they are from New Jersey and this young man is from New Jersey, people think that it's his obligation to go to the nearest major school that they all root for, in this case, Syracuse. As if it was their choice and not his, as if they had to live the four years there and not him. These sentiments are universal and happen every year, more times than you can even imagine.
And, it's not just the fans that get into it, but friends and family as well. "My whole last year as a senior, that's been the whole hype, that Syracuse is the place for you, blah, blah, blah." Joe said. "And after Nebraska came into the picture, you have people whispering in your ear, you got to go to Syracuse, you need to go to Syracuse, you are going to miss your family, you'll be too far away, we'll come up to see you, blah, blah, blah."
"And you know, this is what they are saying that they would do, but they don't understand the kind of guy I am and how much I care. So, if I was them, yeah, I would go to Syracuse, but being who I am and what I believe in, I have to opt what's best for me and not what they want."
"Most of the time, they get influenced by the parents, because it's where they went and it's such a great place, the kid gets stuck going there and don't get a chance to get out and experience what else is out there. I feel like it's me here and 68 other people pulling me the other way."
"It's hard telling people this is what I want, but I am doing what's best for me and in the end, they know I won't question myself because I thought about it and made this decision."
What's probably the most amazing part about this is that the one place (Syracuse) that had the most to lose by his going to Nebraska, well they put up a bit of a struggle, but in the end, it wasn't about bashing Joe or his coach or talking bad about the final decision he made, but they went on as any major school has to do. "I talked to the head coach there and I told him that it was hard for me to do this because of how close we are, having built this relationship, but I have to do what's best for me and be in an environment where I will be successful." Joe said.
"He kept bringing the things up that brought me to want to be there initially, but after I told him that I was firm, he understood, he took it well and there was no more phone calls from him or the rest of the program."
"I respect that in him and their program."
And now, the pressure is off. The fans, friends and media may think to hold a grudge, but the maelstrom of negativity has slowed and now, it's time for the future.
It's what Joe was thinking about in the first place when he made the decision to go to Nebraska instead, but now, instead of hearing consistently everything he missed, the wrong decision he made, he can finally sit back, relax abit and think about the future, his future at Nebraska.
"That's my Mecca." Joe said of Nebraska. "I know that's the place I belong."