FAIRFIELD — It took a couple of extra seasons, but Darnell Dailey finally found a home at a four-year university.
Dailey, who graduated from Rodriguez High in 2012, didn’t have any football offers coming out of high school, so he joined the football team at Contra Costa College.
After two years playing for the Comets, Dailey’s patience finally paid off when he signed a letter of intent to join the Texas State football team next season on a full scholarship.
“Basically, they have a family-like atmosphere,” Dailey said of making his choice to play for the Bobcats. “The coaches welcomed me. I feel like I could fit right in there.”
No stats were available on Contra Costa’s website, but the numbers on Maxpreps.com establish how strong of a player Dailey is as a linebacker.
During his senior season with the Mustangs, Dailey made 106 tackles – 41 of them solo – to average 10.6 per outing. He recorded four sacks and made one interception.
As a junior, Dailey was just as impressive, making 97 tackles with 54 of them being solo, had another interception and even blocked a punt. He also had 99 receiving yards and scored a touchdown.
“I didn’t play football until high school so playing (at Rodriguez) gave me a foundation,” said Dailey, who plans on majoring in criminal justice. “That laid down a foundation for me to play football.”
Dailey noted that playing for good coaches at Contra Costa prepared him to make the transition to a four-year school.
“Coach (Alonzo) Carter and all the other coaches, they gave me a next-level coaching experience,” he said. “They made me a good football player and made me a good man.”
Dailey said other schools like the University of Massachusetts, the University of Texas-El Paso and Cal Poly-SLO took a look at him, but didn’t want to commit.
“They expressed an interest, but Texas State offered me a scholarship and I accepted with no hesitation,” Dailey said.
Playing in a state where football is like a religion, Dailey said Texas is a good destination.
“It’s definitely a different feel than California,” he said. “They are so focused on football and to be successful, you have to be focused as well.”
Texas State finished 6-6 this season, compiling a 2-5 record in the Sun Belt Conference.
Dailey has already set some goals for himself when he gets to The Lone Star State.
“I want to maintain a 3.5 GPA, and football-wise I want to be on the field and help my team and my coach and do whatever I can to help win a championship.”
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.