Gut feeling led commit to Queen’s

Queen’s adds a Canadian playing in the United States to their 2018 class.

Austin Daya, a defensive back from Wyoming Seminary, has found himself in Kingston, Pennsylvania, for the past two years, and now he will be moving to Kingston, Ontario, to continue his education and his football career with the Queen’s Gaels.

He admits that in a lengthy recruiting process, Queen’s wasn’t at the top of his list to start. However, due to some academic restrictions, he was unable to complete the necessary AP courses to become eligible for certain NCAA Division 1 schools that were recruiting him.

Courtesy of Austin Daya.

Still determined to play university football, Daya turned his attention back up north. He visited such schools as the University of Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo and Queen’s. “It was ultimately tied between Waterloo and Queen’s,” he said. “Both presented great academic and athletic opportunities for me to grow as a student-athlete, but it came down to gut feeling when I decided to commit to Queen’s.”

Daya added that he also has several friends who are currently at Queen’s, “and as cliché as it might sound, once I stepped foot on the campus I felt at home. The players were all model student-athletes, and everyone was on the same page as the coaches. When I came to one of their practices I could clearly tell that this was a team who wants to compete and earn some hardware.”

It’s the coaches who set the tone for a team’s culture and attitude, and Daya said that the Queen’s coaches are “some of the most determined people I have met, and I feel that they are the perfect fit to bring back a championship to Queen’s.”

He added that, “I have a strong relationship with their newly appointed defensive coordinator, Coach Bechmanis, from various all-star games and Team Ontario, so I knew his coaching style and had a high amount of respect for his knowledge of the game.”

Daya was also impressed with Head Coach Sheahan, who he said is a veteran in relation to Canadian football. “The amount of experience he has gained throughout the years is a priceless attribute that he can apply to the program,” he said.

While at Queen’s, Daya will be taking legal studies with the goal of completing his LSATs. He would like to become a practicing attorney. He said that Queen’s great academic reputation will allow him to achieve his goals.

Daya spent six years with the Markham Raiders and one with the York Region Lions (OVFL). After two years with the Bill Crothers Secondary School Colts (YRAA), the 5’11, 190lbs safety moved to Pennsylvania where he spent two years with the Wyoming Seminary Blue Knights. He was a captain of Team East at the Fox 40 Prospect Challenge in 2015.

In his senior year at Wyoming Seminary, Daya was awarded the ‘Blue Knight Award.’ “This award is given to a deserving member of the football team who best embodies the spirit and attitude of a student-athlete,” Daya said. “Having the honour of being a team captain on the field and being involved in various extra-curricular (activities) off the field, such as being a resident advisor and being on the mock-trail team, it seemed that I would be a perfect fit for the award.”

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