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After Notre Dame suspension, DaVaris Daniels seeks NFL job

INDIANAPOLIS — Unable to prove himself at Notre Dame Stadium last year, he had to settle for a Highland Park workout center. He arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine this week to show off the fruits of his labor, but also to answer the obvious question.

The son of a former Bears defensive end, DaVaris Daniels has been around the NFL long enough to know officials would want answers about his suspension from Notre Dame after an academic scandal.

This week, the former Vernon Hills High School star began giving them.

“I think the whole deal is big for me,” the wide receiver said. “I know what I can do. People haven’t seen me in a while.

“Even getting the story out there — getting them the details of what actually went down — everything. The whole Combine is big for me.”

Daniels wouldn’t give his version of events to the media Thursday.

The 6-1, 203-pounder said he wanted to return to Notre Dame but “unfortunately some things happened, and it wasn’t a choice for me.” He never considered transferring.

“I know I’m ready for the NFL,” he said. “There are obviously some technique things that I’m going to learn on the next level that are going to get me even better.

“Physically and mentally, I was ready for the NFL. And I think I made a good decision.”

Daniels — who said he patterns his game after Colts star Reggie Wayne — ranked second on the team in 2013 with 46 receptions for 720 yards and seven touchdowns.

He received two academic-related suspensions in 2014, and never saw the field.

“I definitely thought about it, and I’m pretty sure if I was anywhere else it probably wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “But I was — that’s the school that I chose, that’s the challenge that I went into knowingly, so I’m not bitter at all about it.”

He said his father, Phillip, and his agent have spoken to the Bears. Phillip Daniels recorded 23 sacks from 2000-2003 as a Bears defensive end.

“That would be exciting, man, just to stay home and play for the Bears,” he said. “Play for a team that my dad actually played for, it would be nice.”

Phillip Daniels has told him what to expect during the Combine. He’s used his dad’s career as motivation, working out six days a week to prepare for his job interview.

“I’ve seen every moment of my dad’s NFL career, so being around the game for so long puts that fire in me to make it and do something for myself,” he said. “And I think that’s pretty big motivation, just seeing that and being around it every day.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley