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The Rise of Danny Abraham

Joe Stafford '18, Contributor

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The BC High Football team had a great season this year. They started their season with a 4-0 record, annihilating opponents with scores of 61-39, 36-0, 20-0, and 59-6. Players such as Juniors Will Bowen, Francis Dooley, and Elijah Miranda headlined an impressive pass rush, helping the Eagles to shut out 2 of their first 4 opponents: Leominster and Brockton. Senior Connor Cady, a dual-threat quarterback, and Junior Bobby DeMeo, a multitalented offensive playmaker at wideout, headed the BC High offense. But, we are forgetting the Eagles most potent weapon … #27, Danny Abraham.

5’11, 195 pounds, and a leader on and off the field—all of these describe Abraham. A 3.9 student, Danny challenges the social norm of the dumb jock. He was the CC (Catholic Conference) player of the year this season and he was also recently named the #1 player in state of Massachusetts to watch next year (via The Herald). I asked Danny about all the recent attention. “It feels good” said Abraham. “The team played great, so I played great. My teammates worked just as hard as I did and it showed on the field.” As a junior, Abraham effectively crushed opponents, finishing the season with a 9.04 ypc (yards per carry) mark. That’s almost a first down every time he runs the ball. Coach Bartlett had high praise for his running back after their first game of the Season. “He’ll probably become the best running back in the state and I firmly believe that,” said Bartlett. With this being Danny’s second year as a captain, I asked him how that made him feel. “It is surreal to think that my coaches and teammates deem me a leader.” said Abraham. “I have underclassmen looking up to me, I have to set an example.” His potent running style has an explosive, elusive feel. It seems as if every time he gets the ball, he ends up in a position to score. How? By not over-thinking. I asked Danny what goes through his mind when he runs the football. He answered “Well, We (Running Backs) aren’t supposed to think about anything when we run, we focus on our instinct. Once I read my keys, instinct takes over.” His instinct did him well, as he finished the season with 1,301 rushing yards and 15 Touchdowns. Colleges have taken notice and many have become interested in the junior RB.

According to 247sports.com and Danny himself, Boston College, Brown, Coastal Carolina, Duke, Harvard, Stanford, and Virginia all have interest in him. As of now, Boston College is the only one with a standing offer on the table. I asked Danny who his front-runners were early in the recruitment process; Boston College and Harvard are at the top of the list. “I just think as of now that both of those schools give me the best opportunity to thrive,” said Abraham. I persisted further by asking which schools are best for him academically and which ones are best for his playing career. “I’d have to say Harvard and Stanford are the best schools for academics and I don’t think there is a school that sets itself above the rest on the field wise; I want to go where I fit best, regardless of the school’s history,” said Danny. If he repeats last season’s play, he’ll have his pick of schools. Having already visited three colleges unofficially (Stanford, Boston College, and Harvard), he is already familiar with his top two choices. As his playing career continues and the local and national media attention rises, many want to know how far he thinks he can go, how far he wants to go. “I want to ride (football) as long as my body holds up, whether that means stopping in college or trying for the NFL.” He is certainly putting in work in the gym to help sustain his physical state. He’s currently benching 265 and dead lifting 495. When asked whether he wants to focus on building himself up or working on his speed, he said, “Speed kills. In college, from what they’ve told me, they build you up anyways, so my focus is to be as fast as I can be.” At his most recent timing, Danny ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds, which is already beating the average NFL combine times for both running backs and wide receivers which stand at 4.59 and 4.55 respectively.

As he grows into a more polished back, he will start drawing comparisons to other well-known ball carriers. So I asked him, who he models his game after. “I think some of the pieces of my game come from DeMarco Murray, I try to emulate him in some of the things I do,” Abraham said. “But I think most of my game is individualized, I think I have my own running style.” That style seems to be working. Abraham has something a lot of running backs don’t—purpose when carrying the football. When he gets his carries, Danny runs with a ferocity and passion that’s unrivaled by any high school competition I’ve seen. “No one is going to out-work me, or out-will me” said Abraham. I asked him where his inspiration and work ethic came from. Danny replied, “I definitely think coming from a Nigerian and religious background gave me the ability to work hard. I’m blessed.” He continued on with a quote that his parents had told him: “Hard Work + God = Success”. In Abraham’s case, it certainly seems that way. While many are still skeptical of his game, I remain convinced that he is going to have success at the next level.

Abraham has an exceptional set of skills that truly separate him from other elite players. One of his most interesting qualities is his 36” vertical. Abraham would have no problem going over a defender. If you watched the 30 for 30 ‘You Don’t Know Bo’, you will remember all the legends surrounding Bo Jackson’s athleticism. One of the legends was that he dunked a stick in 8th grade. This is eerily similar to a story that I lived through in the 8th grade Arrupe Division of BC High. Me and my friends were playing basketball in the gym at lunch and the bell rang. I went to leave and I saw someone running in the corner of my eye, it was Danny. He jumped up with nothing in his hands and dunked,, leaving a echoing sound of the rim rattling in McNeice Pavilion. He wanted to prove he could do it. I was shocked, but now not so much.

Abraham shows exceptional acceleration into the second level, and if that first linebacker misses his tackle, he’s often gone and off to the races. His decisiveness with the ball is poetry in motion. Also, a few times this year Abraham was called upon to throw the football in trick play situations. We soon found out, along with his debilitatingly quick feet, he has a cannon. Another thing that sets Abraham apart is his ability to take on defenders head-on with great power, often trucking them into the dirt, leaving the BC High crowd to chant “YOU GOT BOD-IED!”. Administration looks down on us for this. But, honestly, who can blame us when we have one of the more electrifying players in Massachusetts making a huge play for our team?

One of the things that remains to be seen of the young back is whether or not he has a natural runner’s patience when carrying the football. It is one of the most important traits in a back, making careers for guys like Le’Veon Bell. The only reason we haven’t seen much of it is because of how well the Eagles offensive line has played when opening gaps in the run game. More often than not, Abraham’s big runs were the product of wide open holes into the second level, and by that time Danny had already gained enough speed that no one was going to catch him anyway. Now, this is not Danny’s fault. However, it would be very beneficial to his collegiate and professional career if he could add patience with the ball to his many qualities. Some, like myself, do not even believe this is a big problem. Many times during the season he made something out of nothing, turning a blitz on its heels and running away with the ball game. One of the plays that truly defines his awareness on the field is at 1:03 of his junior year Hudl™ highlights. On the play, Abraham is given a handoff to the left, where his line collapses, he spins off his tackle, turns on the jets, and high steps into the end zone.

Now that Abraham is truly in the spotlight of colleges and local media alike, the pressure is on to perform. With the type of mental toughness and physical grace he has, there is no telling how far he can go. His ceiling is limitless.

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The Rise of Danny Abraham