He's been playing the game of football for as long as he can remember. After years of solid play in youth football and four stellar seasons for the Morris Redskins, Morris senior Danny Friend is going to be able to extend his playing days by at least four more years.
Heading into the fall season, Friend received a scholarship offer from Indiana University where he is expected to play tight end for the Hoosiers.
With the regular season now in the past, and with an eye on the playoffs, Friend took five minutes out of his day on Friday after practice to engage the Morris Daily Herald in this week's question and answer session.
Q. How long have you been playing football?
A. Since the summer after second grade.
Q. Who did you play for in youth league?
A. The Warriors.
Q. Why did you want to play the game of football?
A. My dad. He played football and when I was growing up, it was always on TV. That's the reason I wanted to play.
Q. Do you have any early memories of playing with the Warriors you can remember?
A. I just remember being at practice and practicing every day. I was a striper (lineman only) at the time on the super-lightweight team and I played center. I remember it being a good time.
Q. Did you have success with the Warriors over the years?
A. When I was on the JV team, we lost the Super Bowl, but the next year we won it when I was on the varsity.
Q. You play tight end and defensive end now. How did it progress from being a center in youth football to that?
A. I played center all the way through the eight grade. I also played defensive end and tackle. In the eight grade I also played left tackle.
Q. You are also the long snapper for the Redskins. Did playing center help you with that?
A. I was also a long snapper for the Warriors. I didn't snap on punts but I did snap on extra points.
Q. What was the biggest adjustment you made going into high school?
A. When I got into high school, I started playing quarterback. I went out for the team as a tight end and the first week of practice Coach (Bill) Lauer asked me if I wanted to play quarterback and the next day I did.
Q. Had you every played quarterback before?
A. I went to Bishop Dullaghan Camps in the seventh and eighth grades. It was something I liked.
Q. What kind of offense did you run your freshman year?
A. We ran I-(formation) and T-(formation). The same stuff we're running now.
Q. You played quarterback as a freshman and a sophomore and were the backup last year to Austin Feeney. One year ago did you think you'd be the Redskins' quarterback this year?
A. Yeah. I thought for sure since Feeney had graduated that I'd be the next to play. I was planning on the job being mine.
Q. When did you find out all of that changed?
A. When Zach (Cinnamon) came in and I saw him throw. He throws a good ball. It's worked out well for both of us because I always thought my best position was tight end.
Q. Which would you rather do — as a defensive end, make a sack that preserves the victory or, as a tight end, catch a game-winning touchdown on a slant over the middle?
A. Catch the game winning touchdown pass.
Q. You are going to Indiana to play football. What makes you think you can play Division I football?
A. Indiana was my third offer and it's a place that I felt I could compete. I'd like to see what I can do against the best and play at the highest level possible.
Q. To this year's team. You guys are playing on Saturday this weekend. When was the last time you played on a Saturday afternoon?
A. My freshman year, I think.
Q. What is the biggest adjustment from playing on Fridays like normal to playing on Saturday?
A. I wouldn't say there are adjustments. We did get an extra day of practice and an extra day of watching films. The biggest thing is for the team to get to bed early and be good and rested and ready to play on Saturday.
Q. In your opinion, moving forward what is it going to take to make this season a success?
A. We have to win state.