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Daniels commits to NCAA Div-I Idaho State on athletic scholarship
Sierra High graduate Jarrod Daniels keeps his balance after a nice cut in the Pirates’ 21-17 loss to Delta last year.
After taking his talents to Modesto Junior College and investing them with a bowl championship club, Sierra High graduate Jarrod Daniels will continue his climb into the NCAA Division I ranks after signing on to attend Idaho State University on a football scholarship.

Daniels closed out his high school career at Sierra by earning a spot on the all-state medium-schools team after an impressive 2009 senior year. When the right four-year commitment never worked out for Daniels he opted for MJC, where in one season he led the Pirates in rushing and helped the 8-3 squad finish ranked No. 8 in Northern California.

Daniels’ exploits impressed Bengals head coach Mike Kramer enough to offer him a spot on the 2011 roster, and do it with a scholarship.

“From a guy who has never had anyone really say the words “We’d like to offer you a scholarship,” Daniels said. “And from a guy who had a couple of schools lead him on to the very end, to have a coach show he was confident in what he wanted , and show great interest was something I respected.”

Daniels shined in his one-year of junior college, racking up a team-high 676 yards rushing and helped the Pirates close out the season with a 45-21 Grafitti Bowl win over Diablo Valley College.

“From the day I found out I was not going to be going anywhere after high school, my goal was to work hard and just play one year of (junior college),” Daniels said. “I knew I wanted to get my grades good and be out.

“That was my goal for the entire year.”

Daniels will join a program that closed the 2010 season with only a single win, but will open the new campaign with hopes of having more success with its spread offense format. Daniels will attempt to become an integral part of the Bengals’ spread-offense, helping the team with yards out of the backfield as well as hauling in passes from the slot position.

“I know we’ll run a four wide receiver set, with no huddle and it will be fast,” Daniels said. “I know that we are going to have plays coming in there fast. They plan on using me in the backfield and the slot.”

Daniels feels his pass catching skills are adequate and he revels in the opportunity to make some plays from a wide receiver spot.

“I’ve always wanted to catch the football more, whether it was out of the backfield or from the slot,” Daniels said. “In high school I wanted to do it, but the best fit for me then was at running back.

“I’ve played some receiver all through Pop Warner and early in high school.”

Daniels has committed to a quality schedule with Idaho State, launching his NCAA career with a road game against the Pac-10’s Washington State Cougars. The Bengals also pay the BYU Cougars a visit in Utah, before closing out their road season with a trip back home to take on the Sacramento State Hornets.

The Hornets pounded Idaho State 45-17 in Pocatello this past season, but will have some added fuel to the fire when they make the trip west in the middle of November.

“I almost had a chance to go to Washington State and they choose a defensive player instead of me, and Sac State was one of the programs I had a good relationship with, they just never offered,” Daniels recalls. “So I want to do well against Washington State, and Sac State will almost be like coming home.

“I know I am going to have a lot of family and friends there; I know it will be a great atmosphere.”