Now cleared to go back to school for his senior year at Salmen High School by the St. Tammany Parish school board and with an accepted scholarship offer from Kansas State
, Sams is looking forward to a bright future.
"My freshman year I played for rival, Slidell," Daniel Sams
said. "I felt comfortable there, but thought Salmen would offer me a better chance to get looked at by colleges."
As a sophomore, Sams got his chance to shine when senior quarterback Julian Troullier went down with a season-ending injury.
"I played wide receiver during the year," Sams said. "They threw me in at quarterback when Julian got hurt, and I guess I've done pretty well. I've had the position ever since."
Sams took the team to the state semi-finals where they lost a heartbreaker 14-10 to Shaw failing to score from the one yard line in the game's final seconds.
"We got to win state this year," said Sams. "I feel like it would be a true Cinderella story. After we got cheated my sophomore year, then kicked out of school in my junior year, it would be amazing to finish my high school career with a win on the Superdome."
St. Tammany Parish school board cleared Sams to return to school in the summer and to participate in football.
"When I went up to Kansas State, I was in shock because the coaches showed me so much attention," said Sams. "It was genuine. A lot of teams that were recruiting me knew about my situation and backed off. But the coaches at Kansas State talked to me, said we all make mistakes in life, and were really encouraging to me."
The connection started with a phone call. Michael Smith, a native Louisianan, put two mothers on the phone together, his and Daniel's.
"His mom called mine and told her how nice the campus was," Sams said. "Coach Smith played a really, really big role in getting me to Manhattan as well as Coach Snyder. When Coach Snyder came back to Kansas State I knew there was something there. I wanted to see what was going on."
Sams gave his verbal pledge to the Wildcat staff on March 8th.
"It's taken a lot of stress off," says Sams of his decision. "I'm in love with my coaches. We talk every week. I was looking for a school that had good academics, somewhere I would have a chance to play early, and one that was recruiting me as a quarterback. K-State has a tradition of playing athletic quarterbacks. My parents are supportive of it, but it was all my decision."
Sams, 6-3, 220, was recruited by many programs as an athlete having played wide receiver, defensive back, and quarterback. With fellow senior standout quarterback, Matt Lipham, on the Salman roster, he may see more action at wide receiver in the coming season. However, Sams knows where he wants to line up on the football field.
"Coach (Jerry) Leonard says I don't go by a script," says Sams critiquing his game. "I make plays. I want to get the ball in the endzone every time. Sometimes that hurts me, but most of the time it pays off. I feel I have good arm strength, good scrambling ability. I just need to keep working on my mechanics."
Now that Sams has his college decision behind him as well as the decision from the board of education he's now focused on his classroom studies and athletics.
"The classroom was never a problem," said Sams, "not in this house. So, I'm doing well there. As far as staying in shape, I'm running, I joined a gym to weight train. Right now I feel happy. I've overcome a lot of adversity, and I'm ready for the challenges ahead."
The Salmen Spartans went 10-3 last season making it back to the state semi-finals. Sams only played in the Spartans first seven games of the season prior to dismissal.
Sams threw for 1,295 yards and 10 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,033 yards and 12 touchdowns during his shortened junior year. He wears No. 5 and has been clocked at 4.39 in the 40.
Daniel Sams is having a roller-coaster ride of a high school career, and it still has one season left. He's transferred schools, been expelled, and fought hard to get himself reinstated while showing exceptional talent on the gridiron. His game sparked national interest from SEC powerhouses LSU and Alabama among others.
K-State commitment is having a roller-coaster ride.