ESPN Watch List running back Daniel Gresham completed two life-long goals this season.
He committed to the Longhorns Aug. 7 and helped Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints win the Southwest Preparatory Conference’s small-school football championship Nov. 10.
A high ankle sprain kept the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Gresham from playing much offense, but he did line up defensively for All Saints in its 60-50 victory over Houston St. John’s.
HornsNation caught up with Gresham to talk about the victory, his ankle and what he’s looking forward to this offseason now that two of his biggest goals to date have been fulfilled. Oh, and also what he’s telling teammate Demetrius Knox as Knox prepares to make his commitment on Nov. 26.
HornsNation: What did it feel like to get that state title and finish the season undefeated?
Daniel Gresham: It was a dream come true. I always wanted to win one. It was kind of hard, because I had a high ankle sprain. I only had four carries on offense. The score doesn’t really show you how much we beat them by, because the halftime score was 35-7. Going into the 4th it was 60-28.
HN: How did you sprain your ankle?
Gresham: We were up by 10 points. I broke for the outside, and a safety and a corner hit me at the same time, and I fell on my ankle. I was in a running position and my ankle was up. They say a ligament jammed up in it and spread two bones in my tibia.
HN: How’s the ankle doing right now?
Gresham: I was probably at 40 percent [for the state title game]. It hurt. I would say I’m at 80 percent. I have been icing it and trying to work out the soreness.
HN: Are you worried that this injury will linger with you?
Gresham: It will heal. It’s nothing major. I know Malcolm Brown had it and Alex De La Torre. I’m good friends with Alex, and he is just telling me to ice it. I know a lot of people who have had it. It will heal with time. Thank god it is nothing serious like a broken bone.
HN: What are you looking forward to this summer, because you are already committed to Texas?
Gresham: I’m just trying to make some highlights, so I can let Texas know that I can be an every down back and not just a one-dimensional back like a lot of people thought I was at first. Mack Brown has been telling me that he has been watching my tape, and he thinks I can be an every-down back like Malcolm. I’m just going to keep working on my footwork and my speed.
HN: Do you get mad that people don’t think you can be an every-down back?
Gresham: It is just motivation. I’ve only played running back for two or three years. I used to play center. I played center my entire life until I wanted to play running back at Crowley. I won a running back award at the National Underclassmen Combine. I can be more versatile than I have shown. Even people like Demetrious. He always calls me "fullback" because he knows it gets on my nerves. He does it for motivation.
HN: What do you think about teammate Demetrius Knox and the commitment he will make on Monday?
Gresham: I know where he is going to go but I can’t say. I just tell him wherever he wants to go, make sure it is the best place for him. Make sure you aren’t doing this for anyone and make sure that coaches aren’t telling you things. Think about it five or 10 years down the road. Don’t just go to college for girls and partying. Make sure wherever you go you have a good chance of making it to the NFL, and if that doesn’t work out, then at least you will have a good degree. Wherever he goes I will be happy for him.
HN: Will you attend any Texas camps this summer?
Gresham: I might. I will take some other players down there but will probably just go down there to watch. I don’t know if I will perform.