His mother had urged him to always have a backup plan, but John Daka was stuck. He’d told her he was going to play in the NFL one day, but now that dream seemed more impossible than inevitable, as far away as Zambia, the homeland he couldn’t really remember.
What could he do? Transferring down a level for the 2018 season, from James Madison to a Division II school, would feel like giving up. Enrolling at another school, without a scholarship to cover his tuition, wouldn’t be fair to his mother. She had already given him so much. Remaining with the Dukes wouldn’t be easy; his relationship with the staff was strained.