When you hear of the city San Bernardino what are your thoughts? For many it is the tragic shooting attack that took place in December of 2015, poverty, or just crime. Yet for people who live in San Bernardino who know the city’s rich history, the public perception can be hard to overcome. Jayden Daniels, sophomore quarterback at Cajon High School is what the city of San Bernardino is really about… Promise.
Daniels burst on the high school football season last year as a freshman when the Cajon starting quarterback was injured. Head football Coach Nick Rogers wasted no time putting the talented and poised 9th grader in the starting line up. Before Jayden could play, he had to get special waiver to play varsity football as a 9th grader. Once he was cleared, he set the scoreboard on fire. What might seem like a script from a sports movie, was the unveiling of a rare talent that is just getting started.
Jayden Daniel’s promise starts and begins with his parents. His Father and mother are both proud Cajon graduates, where his Dad played football and his mother was a cheerleader. His mother has always required that he give 110% in whatever he does and to never quit once he commits to an endeavor. From soccer, basketball, and even track Jayden has excelled in sports and the classroom with the same approach of humility and hard work. It has been this mindset that allowed Jayden to step in as a 9th grade quarterback to lead Cajon to a league title last year beating league powerhouse and state football power Redlands East Valley. In a season that was nothing short of amazing Daniels proved that he was not hype but skilled as a true 14 year old freshman. The stats were nothing short of scary, throwing for over 2,600 yards and 35 touchdowns in his debut in high school football. As a smooth and smart quarterback for Cajon, Jayden makes it clear that his ultimate goal is to receive a full scholarship to a Pac 12 school as an athlete.
As college recruiters begin to circle the wagons on Jayden this season, he looks forward to lead his team and school forward. While Cajon High has over the years had lots of amazing athletes and even won a title in girls basketball, the football program has needed their moment. In a day in age where the best football programs have near college level facilities, Cajon’s football program has not been able to keep up. Which is critical because often parents choose whether or not they will send their son or daughter who plays sports to a specific high school based on factors like winning and sports facilities. Jayden hopes that as Cajon football wins more games that the spotlight on his school and city will ultimately change the lens through which people look at San Bernardino and Cajon.
Jayden Daniels is San Bernardino, full of promise and ready to grow. Don’t let the age or slight frame of Jayden Daniels fool you. He is strong enough and ready to carry his school and his city into a new day of promise.