Notre Dame’s DaVaris Daniels looking to build off BCS performance
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2013 6:14PM
Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, DaVaris Daniels, Vinnie Sunseri
Updated: August 19, 2013 11:02PM
SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame didn’t have many highlights in the BCS national title game.
DaVaris Daniels’ performance on the big stage was one of them.
The wide receiver, a Vernon Hills (Ill.) High School product, had a career-high 115 receiving yards in the 42-14 loss to Alabama.
Daniels missed the Irish’s final two games of the regular season because of a broken collarbone. He recovered in time for the title game. And he returned with a splash. Daniels caught six passes, including a 31-yard reception.
He’s looking to build off the game.
“Learning from that game, I think I saw what I can do against good defenses,” Daniels said recently. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do that on a game-to-game basis. I think that was the main thing I took from it.”
Daniels didn’t see any action with Notre Dame in 2011. He played in 11 games, and made three starts, last season. Daniels had 31 receptions for 490 yards.
His role could continue to expand in 2013.
“I’m excited. It’s something that everybody dreams of, being the guy that everybody can rely on and have that kind of pressure on you,” Daniels said. “I think that I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good year.”
Daniels can stretch the field. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch, the highest mark for any Notre Dame receiver with at least eight catches a year ago.
“Daniels will be a legitimate BCS wide receiver,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “He will be a guy that you’ll have to pay attention to. He’s doing a great job of running vertically. Getting the football to him will be important, especial vertically. Him and TJ (Jones), I think we’re going to have great balance, probably the best balance in the wide receiving corps since I’ve been here, across the board.”
Daniels likes the progress of the offense, beginning with quarterback Tommy Rees.
“Tommy’s confidence is through the roof,” Daniels said. “I know he feels the pressure, but Tommy thrives in that kind of situation. We’re real excited about the season.”
Daniels’ game is “right where I want it” to make a contribution.
“Talking to the coaches, consistency was the key we preached going throughout the spring and going into camp,” he said. “I think I’ve done a good job with that so far.”