Daniels signs NLI to Flying Fleet
by The Press and Standard | March 20, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: March 20, 2019 at 8:20 am
By CINDY CROSBY
A 13-year dream came to fruition for Colleton County High School James Rae-Shon Daniels last week when he inked a National Letter of Intent to play football for NCAA Division II Erskine College. The Flying Fleet, located in Due West, participates in Conference Carolinas. Daniels, a defensive standout for the Cougars, looks to contribute at defensive lineman.
A three-year varsity letterman, Daniels received preferred walk-on offers from Catawba College, Mars Hill and Charleston Southern University. “I received an email from the Erskine coaching staff during winter break,” said Daniels. “I completed the athletic questionnaire and submitted it to the staff. A few days later, I received a phone call asking me if I was interested in coming up for a visit. The coaches constantly stayed in touch to make sure I was seriously interested and then set up a visit on Feb. 8 to visit the campus.
“My decision to attend Erskine came when my family and I visited the school,” said Daniels. “After visiting several programs in North Carolina, none of them felt like the perfect fit for me. Erskine is a small campus and I like that a lot. It was important for me to attend a school where I would be more than just a name on the roster.”
Academics also played a vital role in Daniels decision to attend Erskine. “Erskine has a great business department and opportunities for me to intern in my field of study,” he said. “I see more in my future than just being a football player, and I’ve always been told that knowledge is power. The main reason I am going to college is to get an education and be a student-athlete.
“I’d like to thank my family and friends for supporting me and encouraging me to keep my head up and never give up on myself,” said Daniels. “My parents have always told me to finish what you start. I lost my grandmother to cancer two years ago, and I work hard every day to make her proud.”
Daniels also had words of thanks for his coaches. “All my coaches were great, but the ones who helped me the most were Jay Davis, Maurice Simmons and Sheldon Pierce,” said Daniels. “Coach Davis was my middle school coach and I will never forget the confidence he had in me. He had me play offense and defense to build my skills on both sides of the ball. He worked with me to train and prepare for my college showcase over the past few months. Coach Simmons taught me the most about being patient and trusting the process. There were times I felt defeated and undervalued and he encouraged me to see the bigger picture and play for the team and not for myself. Coach Pierce has also been supportive, giving me good advice on and off the field and I am thankful.”
Daniels, who has amassed over $100,000 in scholarships and awards so far, is the son of Dandi and James Daniels Jr. He plans to pursue accounting as his major. At CCHS, Daniels is also a member of the track and field team where he throws the shot put and discus for the Cougars.