“I really just want to show off my skills and show what I can do,” Sanford said. “It’s gonna be a fun experience and the main thing I want to do is have fun but there’s going to be some talented guys there and I want to test myself against that and see what I can do.”
Daymion Sanford had put everything in to get to this moment.
The Paetow senior had spent years working to make himself a great player, a dominant force on the field ad a top recruit heading into the collegiate ranks.
The seniors work has been paying off, he achieved a four-star ranking unanimously by recruiting services and garnered interest from some of the top college football programs in the nation before committing to Texas A&M.
All of those were huge accomplishments for Sanford, but one of his biggest came on Friday, as he was given his jersey which he will play the U.S. Army All-American game in, as Sanford was chosen as one of the top players in the country to compete in the honorary game.
“This whole thing is a dream come true,” Sanford said. “I know people say that all the time but it’s true. When I heard that I was going to be playing in the game I literally was jumping up and down and screaming. I was just so excited. It’s such a blessing and it’s something I won’t take for granted.”
Sanford was a huge part of Paetow’s state championship run in 2021 and was just as big of a part of a stout Panthers defense this year. But some of the biggest impact didn’t come on the field, it came off the field where he was a quiet leader for the Panthers.
“He’s just such an awesome kid,” said Paetow head coach David Hicks Sr. “He’s a leader on the field but he’s just as big a leader off the field as well. He’s the hardest working person in the room, he’s the first person there every day at practice and the last one to leave. Even on off days he’s here. You dream of being able to coach guys like him and he’s really been great to have.”
Sanford is the second All-American to come from Paetow and the second this year, as he joined current and future teammate D.J. Hicks, who will play in the Under Armour All-American game.
“Some people don’t get an All-American in a lifetime of coaching, so to get two in one year is crazy,” Hicks said. “It’s a great moment and one he and everyone at the school can enjoy. It speaks volumes about the program, the school and the brand that we’re building here. I’m just so happy for him.”
The Army All-American Bowl will be played at noon on January 7, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and Sanford can’t wait to have a chance to enjoy it and prove himself.
“I really just want to show off my skills and show what I can do,” Sanford said. “It’s gonna be a fun experience and the main thing I want to do is have fun but there’s going to be some talented gusy there and I want to test myself against that and see what I can do.”