Damion Daniels is going to take his chances in the NFL Draft.
The Nebraska junior defensive tackle made the announcement via social media on Saturday morning.
A 6-foot-3, 325-pound Dallas native, Daniels this season recorded 33 tackles, easily a career-high total, with two of those stops occurring behind the line of scrimmage. He made a season-high six tackles and broke up the first pass of his career in Nebraska's season-opening loss at Illinois. He made four stops while adding a pass breakup Sept. 25 against 20th-ranked Michigan State.
Because of an injury, Daniels played only sparingly Nov. 20 against Wisconsin. Six days later, he sat out Nebraska's season-ending home loss to Iowa after going through Senior Day ceremonies in street clothes.
"I want to thank the Nebraska coaching staff, past and present, for the opportunity to obtain them at this great university. I also extend my gratitude to the supporting staff and academic staff for all of the assistance they provided me," Daniels wrote. "To my teammates, over the past years you guys have turned into my brothers and I've built bonds that'll last forever and I want to thank you guys for pushing me to be the best day in and day out."
A team co-captain this season, Daniels graduated in May 2020 with a degree in communication studies. His brother, Darrion Daniels, was a Husker co-captain in 2019 and now is part of the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad.
The younger Daniels was a key member of Nebraska's defensive line rotation in 2020 when he started three times during a season shortened to eight games by COVID-19. He finished with 20 tackles, including four for losses. In 2019, he appeared in every game and made 13 stops after recording 12 (one for loss) as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
But he was at his best in 2021, and his captain status is telling when one considers he played in a veteran room of linemen that included sixth-year senior Ben Stille and other battle-tested players such as Deontre Thomas, Ty Robinson and Casey Rogers.
“They all kind of gravitated toward him because he took a step forward,” NU defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said in August. “Leaders, they take a step forward and they lead the charge and they’re not holding anything back. That’s the thing about him. He’s emptied the tank every time in practice. That’s what really stood out to everybody is when they saw him come to work. He’s coming to work. He’s not holding anything back. He doesn’t have a governor. No saying, ‘I’m only going to do 80% today.’
“He’s full-throttle every single day, every single practice and he hasn’t stopped yet. So, if he continues to do that, the sky is going to be the limit for him.”
Daniels hopes his ascension continues in the NFL.
The draft is set for April 28-30 in Las Vegas.
"Lastly, I want to thank the Nebraska fans for making this special place feel like my home since my arrival on June 4, 2017. I enjoyed my experience to the fullest, and will be forever grateful for it," he said.