A big year awaits a football standout from Utica whose gone so far as to move to the other side of the country to increase his opportunities in the sport.

Daniel Santiago has some options, and more await.

The 6-foot-2, near 300-pound defensive tackle moved to way-west to Arizona to live with his uncle in Arizona last fall so he could continue to play competitive football - as uncertainty surround all fall sports here in New York this past season his father Daniel tells WIBX 950. Daniel is also the nephew of Nick Santiago, another standout defensive tackle to play at Proctor High School who would go on to be an impact player for Syracuse University -  leading the team in sacks his senior year at 'Cuse.

Since the turn of the year, Daniel has racked up seven full-scholarship offers from Division-1 programs: University of Arizona, Army, Air Force, University at Buffalo, San Diego State, Yale, and last month, Colorado State. And, he's set to visit the University of Illinois and Wake Forest next month.

Keep in mind, he's still got a full season high school ball ahead of him, with more opportunity to turn heads and open doors.

Daniel Santiago #55 with the Proctor Raiders (credit: Dan Santiago)

Santiago would love to return to Utica to play his senior year at Proctor High School, but whether or not that happens is still unclear - he'd prefer to play in front of family and friends, his father said, but there are unknowns. Will high school football in New York will go off as 'normally' scheduled in the late summer/fall? And, does leaving the added exposure provided in Arizona close doors to additional opportunity?

Daniel's latest move was accepting an invite to perform on big national stage with other top level high school talent from across the country. Santiago, 17, is set to play in the MLK All-Star Classic in Las Vegas -  in January of 2022 - at the home of NFL's Raiders, Allegiant Stadium.

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