Glenn’s Daniel Napper chooses Mars Hill

Napper signed his letter of intent last week at Glenn High School with family and head coach Antwon Stevenson.

Glenn’s Daniel Napper chooses Mars Hill
February 18
11:27 2020

 It’s the dream of any high school athlete to be offered a scholarship to play on the next level. While many athletes look for the largest, most popular school they can, some prefer a more intimate environment. For Glenn’s Daniel Napper, that is exactly why he chose Mars Hill University over larger schools that recruited him.

Napper was a sought-after player due to his skillset, athleticism and versatility. He put a lot of thought into where he would play on the next level, but Mars Hill felt like “home” to him. Napper will play outside linebacker for the Mountain Lions, a position best suited for him.

“It’s just like a family atmosphere and the class sizes are small, so I learn a lot better that way,” said Napper. 

The recruitment process was an enjoyable one for Napper. He was pleased to see how many schools wanted to bring him into their program.

“It was good knowing how much people wanted me and how my talent could be used at the next level,” he said. “It was a long journey, but I am glad to be at this place.”

Napper has the advantage of having older siblings go through the recruitment process. He leaned a lot on his family for advice and guidance during this journey. 

“They were there every step of the way,” he said about his family. “The times I felt like I didn’t want to do it anymore, they were there to keep pushing me. It’s what a family should do, just uplifting you during the times you are down.

“I am just going to do the best that I can and I know it will be a hard transition, but I feel like it’s doable. My brothers and sister have done it, so I feel like I can do it.”

Napper has never had the opportunity to spend a lot of time concentrating on just one position. He looks at that as a positive and is excited to see how good he can be focusing on just one spot on the field.

“It’s like I have to do what’s best for the team to try and get wins and show my versatility to colleges, so I can be in a better position than other athletes,” Napper went on to say. 

The coaching staff of Glenn has made a major impact on Napper over the years. 

“Coach Stevenson knows how to tear you down and build you up at the same time,” said Napper. “He will have your back for you to make sure nobody is treating you wrong. He gives everybody a fair opportunity, he is just going to push you to be your best any given day, no matter what.”

Once his teammates found out Napper had made his decision, they were almost as happy as he was.

“Everyone was jumping around, telling me congratulations and that was a family atmosphere too, because I was there when they were growing and they were there when I was growing, so we were all in it together,” he continued.

Napper said he will miss a lot at Glenn. 

“Everybody and everything, because everything we did was together, so that’s mainly what I am going to miss” he said. 

The coaches at Mars Hill told Napper he will have an equal opportunity to compete against the upperclassmen already on campus. Napper’s goal is to go in and try to win a starting spot as a freshman.

Napper’s parents, Daryl and DaNina, felt he made a great decision in choosing Mars Hill to continue his educational and athletic goals.

“I really felt like that was where God was sending him as well,” said Mrs. Napper. “I wanted him to make up his own mind and make his own decision. I’ll admit, we visited some other campuses and wondered what was going through his mind. I knew he had Mars Hill at heart, but I was wondering if he was starting to sway. Our main concern was for him to make a decision he could live with.

“When he told us, it was just in sync with my thoughts, feelings and everything I had seen and experienced while I was there on campus.”

Mr. Napper added, “For me, I was happy and happy for many different reasons, because there were so many signs that led us directly to Mars Hill, even to the extreme of his defensive coordinator being a pastor like me. Throughout the entire campus, they had a great atmosphere.”

Napper’s parents have very high expectations for Daniel. They anticipate him doing well on the field, but the classroom is where they want him to shine most. The Nappers have required their children to carry at least a 3.0 GPA to be able to compete in high school sports, so that will have to continue at the next level.

“We ask our children every time we take them to orientation on a college campus, ‘If we had to leave you today, would you be all right?’ said Mr. Napper. “Each campus that we took them to, they each said yes. So, when he told us he was happy and we could leave him in the mountains, his mom and I said, everyone will have to come to Mars Hill.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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