The wide receiver became part the new early signing period for football, signing his letter of intent to play for the Buffaloes.
Without much fanfare, Daniel Arias inked his most significant decision to date.
The Jackson receiver took part in football’s new signing period Wednesday, signing his letter of intent to play at Colorado next year.
“It’s going to be different because I’ve been a city kid my whole life and moving to a countryside setting is going to be weird,” said Arias of differences between Mill Creek and Boulder, Colo. “But the coaches are really awesome. A lot of times (during the recruiting process), wide receiver coaches would talk to me and I’d get really nervous and stutter my words. When I started talking to coach Chev (CU assistant Darrin Chiaverini), I didn’t feel that way. Things just clicked.”
The NCAA added the early signing period, which runs Wednesday through Friday, this year. The traditional early February signing period is still there for players who don’t sign this week.
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Arias said there was some pressure to sign early.
Arias, who said he was firm about his decision, trains at Ford Sports Performance and made unofficial visits to Pac-12 schools with his 7-on-7 team. Colorado was his sole official visit and prospects are permitted five.
Taking official visits is one reason why other local top prospects said they aren’t signing their letters this week. Garfield receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison de-committed from Oregon and is still weighing offers. Rainier Beach starters Darrien Sampson and Anthony Stell announced their commitment to Eastern Washington, but plan to complete their official visit allotment. Others stated they wanted to be part of the spectacle of the traditional signing period in February, when ESPN offers daylong coverage.
Jackson usually has a signing ceremony, but it didn’t work out this week because of the holiday break.
“It’s so out of the ordinary of what we normally do,” Timberwolves coach Joel Vincent said. “For me, this early signing is a first and we’ll see how it goes. For recruits who haven’t gone on visits, there’s a thought in the back of their mind wondering, ‘how do I really know?’”
Arias, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior, said marking the milestone with his immediate family is enough. His mother left her three children in their native Dominican Republic when she immigrated to Washington, working multiple jobs to gain citizenship and move Daniel and his siblings here when he was 7 years old.
Arias said his mother, who is still a single parent, is overjoyed with his achievements. Colorado provided her a Spanish interpreter for the visit this month; she took advantage to inquire more about her son’s interest in majoring in business.
“Seeing all the struggles I’ve been through,” Arias said of his mother. “And seeing her first son to go to college; she congratulates me every day and lets me know how much she loves me and how special I am to her. So, it’s a big moment. … At the end of the day, I signed with a school I love where I know I can be successful.”