Daniel Jupiter is a class of 2022 athlete from St. James High School, in beautiful Vacherie, Louisiana. The running back stands at 5’11 and comes in weighing 185 pounds. Jupiter runs a 4.5 40, however his vision and elusiveness are what caught my eye on film and seeing him in person. In his junior season Jupiter rushed for nearly 900 yards on 144 carries and 16 TDs. This comes in a shortened season, and his head coach wisely electing to sit the running back in some of the Wildcats blowout victories. With his ability to stick his foot in the ground and get up field immediately, coupled with his vision to make opponents miss and the ability to run over defenders at the second and third level of defense, Jupiter has drawn comparisons to another former Louisiana native in Travis Etienne. Jupiter tells me he has a 205lb power clean, 250lb bench press, 365lb squat, and 370lb dead lift. His current GPA is a 4.0 with a 23 ACT.
When did you start playing football?
I’m not sure of the exact age, but I started playing little league when I was eight or nine. I don’t remember the exact age, but I was young. It was the Bayou Lafourche Raiders
Growing up did you play any other sports?
Growing up I played summer league basketball that was something to do. I started running track in middle school. I’m running the open 100, the 4×100 and 4×200 now.
What do you love about football?
Just the way the game is played. It brings the best out of you. You’re challenged physically, you’re challenged emotionally it is really a game of life. I love the game because it pushes you beyond your limits.
What style of play best describes you?
Fearless, I feel like I’m very physical and I’m never scared of contact. I use my advantages in my play. My speed and my fearlessness I use that as an advantage.
With COVID and this past season being shortened, what were some of your biggest goals?
Win another state championship. Last season I was focused on learning the game more, and being a true player of the game. Trying to build myself to be a better back. I would say last season was more of a building season for me.
What was that like, becoming more of an “All-Around Back?”
Coach Val (Robert Valdez) always gets on me about learning the game, and having a football IQ. So knowing the ins and outs and knowing when to do certain things. Knowing if a linebacker comes in this certain gap then I might have to bounce it out. It’s just the little things that can make a big difference. Just learning the game more. Knowing that if it’s outside zone, that my receiver has to block the number two DB or something small like that. Just understanding more and more of the game helps me expand my game, and take it to a whole new level.
Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?
Definitely my parents, they keep me going throughout the day. My aunts and uncles, they’re always there to support me, keep me motivated, and keep me on my toes. My coaches, they makes sure I’m on point with everything, they check up on me with the little things. My brother, Devante Turner that passed away too. Every time that I think about slacking or giving up I think about him, and it keeps me going.
What do you think is a strength in your game play?
I think my mindset, I know I’m not one of the biggest backs, but my mentality and mindset drives me to be the best. I strive day in and day out and my work ethic I feel is unparalleled. I feel like no defender can stop me. Your mind can take you further than anywhere your body can.
What affect do you feel attitude plays on winning?
I have to have that winning mentality. You can’t go on the field doubting yourself or with a bad mindset. I believe that if you speak it, it will come true.
What would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you, at the end of this coming season?
Definitely that I was a leader. That’s what I’ve been working at hard this season. Being a leader and a role model for my teammates. Giving my all for my team, and holding nothing back.
Have you set any goals for the upcoming season?
Win District and win State. That’s two of my goals. Number one is become a better leader, and set examples for my teammates. Keep driving them and keep them pushing. We have a great schedule this year, so overcoming adversity, adapting, and going, going, going. Then with my personal goals, I’d like to rush for more than 1,000 yards. Surpassing my touchdowns from last years, which was 16.
What are you doing in the off-season to accomplish those goals?
We have summer workouts with football, and I work out with my track coach. I have a bunch of camps scheduled so I will be competing against recruits from all over. Staying in the weight room, that’s been a big factor for me this summer, being in the weight room. Also working on my speed and agility, you can never be too fast. I might do summer track this year as well. I might get that in this year as well.
On a scale of 1-10 on game day what would be your ideal performance number?
Definitely a 10! I’m locked in I’m ready to play, I don’t think I ever had a game where I was down or out. You work all week, and I feel game day is like the icing on the cake. I’m definitely excited on game day.