Ronnie Daniels is dreaming about football again. “I just want to inspire people to be the best that they can be,” said Daniels.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider and La Cueva high school football star saw his football dream go dark because of off the field issues. Daniels had a stellar high school career finishing as New Mexico’s all-time career leader in rushing yards with 7,086.
He also claimed the career rushing touchdowns total for the state with 106 before graduating from La Cueva in 2010. Daniels decided Texas Tech was where he would continue his football dream and looked as if he would be a solid player for the Red Raiders in his first season of 2011.
It wasn’t long before off the field issues started to derail the talented running back plans. “Multiple errors,” said Daniels. “I failed a drug test for Cannabis and I feel like just coming out of high school I graduated early. I was young. You know I had a lot to learn.”
Daniels attended rehab for 40 days and emerged clean. It wasn’t long before he would slip up again. “I wasn’t thinking I was really going to get caught,” said Daniels. “Like, I was thinking I am just going to do it this one day and then go back and by the time they test me, I will be clean. They tested me. I passed the test per se, but they still saw that there was cannabis in my system. So, I got the boot.”
It was the spring of 2012 and Daniels didn’t have to wait very long to find another playing opportunity. Daniels said he left for what he thought would be a scholarship opportunity at San Diego State. It never worked out.
He could not afford to live in San Diego and headed back to Albuquerque where he quickly spiraled out of control.
Daniels was even arrested a couple of times for breaking into a pair of homes. “At that time I was ranting and raving and wandering around,” said Daniels. “I was nutrient deprived, wasn’t putting the right nutrients into my body, wasn’t sleeping and I was drinking. I feel like it’s really kind of easy to think about how I could end up in places where I never been. Whenever I look back at it, I think wow I can’t believe I was in that situation.”
Daniels is not shy about taking responsibilities for his actions. The entire rollercoaster ride of a journey has made him a mature man.
At 25 years old Daniels says his body feels great and he is ready to try and finish what he started in football. “I know a lot of people,” said Daniels. “They have injuries and stuff like that and their careers are just about over, 25 and 27 years old. You know I do a lot of injury prevention stuff. It’s stuff that I feel like can gradually or incrementally get you better and stronger every day.”
Daniels attended an open tryout with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in Houston, Texas two weeks ago. He has another tryout with a CFL team in May. Daniels is hoping to catch on somewhere and has since picked up an agent to help him do so.
The dream is officially back on. “I feel like the potential is limitless,” said Daniels. “I feel like when I was in high school I was a little boy. I mean I was still doing good, but I was still young, clumsy. I just want to push it to the max.”