QUAPAW — Quapaw senior-to-be Tanner Daniels has been selected to play in the Blue Gray All-American Bowl Monday, Jan. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
He advanced through a regional qualifier in Tennessee, and then was picked to play in the game after placing among the leaders in a super combine at Arlington.
“It gives me the opportunity not to just show off for myself, but to show off for my town,” Daniels said. “That is a big opportunity and honor for me. Quapaw has done everything they could for me and I want to give back to them by doing this and to go on.”
He’s one of 55 players on a team that was selected from more than 6,750 players who participated in combines from around the country or was recommended by staff members.
Players report Jan. 18 and players will have two practices before playing the game.
Participants will receive their jerseys at a media dinner on Jan. 19.
Daniels earlier had competed in a Blue Gray regional combine in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
“I was really nervous,” Daniels said. “It was a big stage and I was going up against some of the better kids in the nation. I just told myself ‘you have just got to be you, go do what you know what to do.’”
According to a Blue-Gray All-American Bowl release, the last three years, nearly 90% of the game’s participants have earned scholarships before or after.
Daniels said he wants to be one of those.
“I’ve been to several prospect camps. I will go anywhere where I can go play,” he said. “Even if I have just one offer, I will take it in a heartbeat because this is something I love to do. It’s a passion.”
Daniels is an offensive guard and defensive end with the Wildcats, but he said he prefers playing on the defensive side of the football.
“He’s a great young man, always willing to help his teammates,” Quapaw head coach Chris Cawyer said. “Tanner is one that will never give up
I have to kick him out of the weight room almost every day. His work ethic has rubbed off on our younger kids, and high school, too.
“The world would be a better place if everyone was like Tanner.”
Daniels went up against more than 100 student-athletes at the Hendersonville regional then double that at Arlington.
“I knew there was going to be some tough competition,” he said.
This will be one of three other All-American Bowls.
There also will be a game Jan. 6 at Raymond James Stadium, Jan. 13 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Jan. 16 at AT&T Stadium.
Among the games’ alumni are Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.