In his first night on the field as a starter for the Fighting Falcons, during the first game of the season on September 1st, 2011, Daniel Monroe III had 161 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns. He was named MVP by his coaches, player of the game by a local business and WVIAC Offensive Player of the Week. Those were his first athletic accomplishments on campus.
But, there will be more firsts to come as the Miami, Florida, native plans to earn an undergraduate degree in accounting with a concentration in finance and pursue a master’s degree at Fairmont State University.
“FSU is setting me up, first of all, to be the best athlete I can be. Academically, I feel FSU is setting me up to be first in my class,” he says.
In his spring 2011 semester of college prior to transferring to Fairmont State University, Monroe was on the Dean’s List. He has an even higher goal this year as he works his way through FSU’s School of Business.
“Here, I am striving to make the President’s List (4.0 GPA) every semester. But, that’s a little tough especially with the Honors classes I’m in,” Monroe says.
The 19-year-old has a course load that includes Business Law, World Literature and Race, Class and Gender, all Honors Program courses.
On-the-field success is no replacement for classroom accomplishment – even for someone coming from a family of football fans and players.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to be that first person in my immediate family to get to the NFL. My uncle tried and didn’t quite make it. My dad tried and didn’t quite make it. They always say I’m the last hope. However my dad always, aside from that, told me that this is all due to academics. You can’t get anywhere in life without taking care of your books first.”
Monroe committed to Fairmont State without even stepping foot on campus because of the promise of playing time and personal attention in the classroom. He’s even more committed to making a difference long after he earns his degree.
“There’s nothing more that other African Americans need, in terms of influence, than to see another African American actually striving, actually being successful,” he says.