When I first began working for 717, I noticed something very early on. While trying to update our site for local athletes making commitments and/or visits to colleges across the country, a familiar name was tagged or recognized on Twitter with nearly every one. That being the name of former All-State Wide Receiver and NFL veteran Darryl Daniel. Now recognizing a local athlete makes sense, but knowing first hand of what Darryl is doing for athletes across the state it all comes together.
For those that do not know DD runs a training academy, not just for football players, but athletes of various sports at www.ddwholesta.com. Just like he was on the football field playing for Syracuse and in the NFL, he is passionate, detailed oriented and goal driven. He was gracious enough to pop in with 717 for a quick interview, on what his playing career, his academy and the message he preaches to each trainee.
Carl Frederick: Tell us more about your playing experience from Conestoga Valley to the NFL?
Daryl Daniel: High school football was great. I was able to play in a state championship and becoming all state 2 times was a dream come true. The Big 33 was an opportunity to really see how college football would be. After gaining Big 33 MVP it was on to Syracuse. I got my first bit of action my redshirt freshman year and then my 3rd year my playing time really picked up. I played in 4 bowl games while at Syracuse. The NFL experience was amazing. I was with 4 different teams and being able to be around hall of fame players and gain a wealth of knowledge was priceless.
CF: You have been running training sessions for local athletes for years, what prompted the transition to this from your playing career?
DD: Well helping people has always been a passion of mine. So I went and got my certifications and turned it into a business. I created a training program and my own training methods as I continued to grow my business
CF: Training athletes across the state can you help explain to people that don't know, your methods are not just for football players?
DD: No, I train all sports. I figure out what is essential for them to be successful in their individual sports and I build a program around that to make them successful. A lot of detail goes into the planning.
CF: Give us one memory whether it been in college or the pros that stands out to you the most? ( I bet you have some Donovan Mcnabb stories)
DD: one that immediately pops up is catching a 70 yd bomb from Mcnabb in the carrier dome versus Miami. Another is playing in NFL Europe and having the record for the most receiving yards in a game that lasted almost 10 years
CF: When a player enters your Academy what is your ultimate goal for the kid and their family?
DD: To be better than he was the year before. to gain confidence, get stronger, faster and more explosive. Sometimes the biggest thing is changing mindsets.... from wondering if you can do it, to knowing you can do it! I have a saying..."in order to get to something, you have to go through something!"
Darryl’s message is clear and it is highly recommended for any athlete in the area regardless if they are playing football, field hockey or soccer. Knowing the extensive work he put in with my brother, I can attest for his training methods and recommend it personally. For more information on what his academy offers please visit www.ddwholesta.com