The hits kept coming on Thursday for Notre Dame fans when it was reported that senior to be wide receiver Davaris Daniels was suspended for the spring semester – Notre Dame’s second high profile academic casualty in less than a year.
News broke Thursday afternoon when Daniels released a statement to multiple media outlets.
“I understand that attending the University of Notre Dame is a privilege and with that comes a certain level of academic responsibility. Therefore, I will not be attending Notre Dame in the spring semester but fully expect to re-enroll in the summer semester to earn my degree and continue playing football for the Irish.”
Sports Illustrated reported that Daniels appealed the disciplinary action in order to play in the Pinstripe Bowl last month.
And with that, Notre Dame’s leading returning wide receiver will not be at Notre Dame for the spring semester which will cause him to miss spring practice and the off-season strength and conditioning program. Daniels caught 49 passes for 745 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013. Notre Dame’s next leading wide receiver that will be on the roster, Chris Brown, caught just 15 passes for 209 yards and a single touchdown.
The silver lining here is that unlike with Everett Golson last year, Daniels will miss the spring semester but will be eligible to return for the fall semester which would allow him to play his senior season for the Irish.
Daniels sent out a message on Twitter Thursday night that he would be back and wasn’t considering entering the NFL Draft.
Small bump. Not entering the draft. Can't wait to get back with my brothers this summer!— Toot Daddy Fresh™ (@DaVarisDaniels) January 9, 2014
Notre Dame has plenty of weapons at wide receiver to get through the spring and Daniels absence will open up additional reps for Notre Dame’s young wide receivers James Onwualu, Will Fuller, Corey Robinson, and Torii Hunter, Jr. Juniors Chris Brown and CJ Prosise figure to see more action as well in the spring.
For Daniels, Thursday’s news is a disappointing start to a senior season for a player whose career feels as though its been on the verge of exploding the last two seasons, but just hasn’t done so yet. Daniels had some big games this year for Notre Dame most notably Temple (3 rec, 69 yards, 2 TDs), Purdue (8 rec, 167 yards, 2 TDs), and BYU (6 rec, 107 yards, 1 TD), but also went through extended periods of inconsistency.
The 2014 season, Daniels’ final season of eligibility, was to be the year that Daniels fully realized his potential and became the go-to, game changing receiver for an Irish offense that will be replacing a 1,000 yard receiver this year with TJ Jones on his way to the NFL after a spectacular collegiate career. That could still happen for Daniels, but he will have to do so despite missing all of spring practice and the off-season conditioning program.