Jaylin Dailey, a senior defensive lineman, traveled to Daytona Beach, FL to play in the Spiral Tropical Bowl Jan. 13th.
Dailey, a Robert E. Lee High School alumnus, attended Scottsdale Community College then transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
He posted 35 tackles, three sacks, nine tackles for loss and three forced fumbles during his freshman year. This earned him All-Western Football League honorable mention and All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference second team.
At MGCCC, Dailey played in 10 games during his sophomore season, where he compiled 30 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble.
“Mississippi Gulf Coast was more strict, I’d have to say,” Dailey said. “You are only there for two years so it’s like no time for you not to be handling your business. At Gulf Coast, we had a mandatory breakfast and study hall in the morning, which made us have more discipline and get lots of sleep at night. Juco is just a beautiful struggle and it made me who I am today.”
In 2017, after MGCCC, Dailey transferred to North Alabama. In 2017, he had 41 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 2 recovered fumbles. In 2018, he had 23 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks after missing 4 games due to injury this season.
Dailey played in two bowl games this season thanks in part to his performance on the field this season. He went to the FCS National Bowl along with teammates linebacker Joshua Amanfo and running back Damon Cox. Dailey won defensive honors for the gritty 38-37 win that his team (National) pulled out.
The senior defensive lineman had 2.5 sacks and one tackle for loss during the Tropical Bowl game.
“I missed a sack,” Dailey said. “I did alright but I still am being hard on myself on that one missed sack. Both games really had some good competition and players. To me, the only difference was this bowl game had bigger school names.”
In the 4th annual Spiral Tropical Bowl game, 36 NFL and CFL scouts were in attendance to see some of the nations best players at their respective positions.
“The coaches and scouts saw a player that when he is on the field he gives everything he’s got,” Dailey said. “I play every snap like it’s my last, they saw a player that plays fast and physical. They saw me having fun like a kid would.”
Dailey’s passion for the sport came later in life. His first love of sports came from basketball, he did not start playing football until his junior of high school.
“Football wasn’t my passion at first,” Dailey said. “Matter of fact, I didn’t start playing football until my junior year of high school. I played basketball all of my life, I fell in love with football when I knew that it would be a way out, it would get me into school free, and that it would later help out my family and maybe could take me to the professionals. My high school coach always told me that I was different, that I had the ‘IT’ factor in me that not a lot of people had.”
For six years, Dailey has played a game that has changed his life, and changed his loved one's lives as well. Unless an NFL team contacts Dailey, the Tropical Bowl will be his last game.
“Honestly I haven’t put much thought into (life after football),” Dailey said. “I am taking it one day at a time for right now. Being a head coach somewhere doesn’t sound too bad, now that I think of it.”