Many young men play football their whole lives and sometimes never get a shot at the Super Bowl. But it’s different for Kansas City Chiefs defensive end and Detroit native Mike Danna, who has not been playing the sport as long and is now on his way to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
“He never touched a football other than me and him tossing it around in the yard,” said Danna’s father Vaughn Danna.
Vaughn Danna said his son never played youth football because basketball was his game. That was until he stepped foot on Warren De La Salle’s campus his freshman year. Mike Danna was a natural despite breaking his leg and missing five games his senior year. He finished with 20 tackles for a loss and a state title in 2014.
At Central Michigan University, Mike, who was 6 feet 2 inches tall and 257 pounds, was responsible for 151 tackles and 28 tackles for loss.
As a grad transfer at the University of Michigan, he tallied 38 tackles and three sacks. He said that year at Michigan helped a lot.
“That year at Michigan, I learned a lot of technique and fundamentals, rehearsing it each week. That year was very beneficial to me. Wouldn’t change it for everything,” he said.
The Chiefs drafted him 177th overall in last year’s NFL draft. It was a monumental day in the Danna’s Detroit home.
“He knew something. He was keeping something under his hat because he was too calm. He just kept saying ‘You guys watch the television,’” said Vaughn Danna.
Mike Danna is now in the NFL playing defensive end for the Chiefs, one win away from a Super Bowl championship.
“I would tell Mike before every game ‘Let’s get a quarterback today.’ I would say to Mike, ‘Get Tom Brady,’” said Vaughn Danna.