As a Philadelphia resident who moved to California for a clean start, Darryl McBride has heard his share of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" references.
Mendocino (Calif.) College football teammates gave him the nickname "Philly."
"Everybody has a rags-to-riches story," McBride said. "I grew up in a working neighborhood. I grew up in a Catholic school. … But it was better for me to go away to an area where I couldn’t get in trouble."
McBride is now prepared for the next step: playing for the University of Hawaii football team.
McBride, a safety, said he has met the NCAA eligibility requirements to participate in the Warriors’ training camp, which begins Aug. 4.
He was told he will earn a passing grade in a summer-session class needed to complete work on his associate’s degree.
The grade will be posted July 31, "but I already passed the class," McBride said. "I’ll be off to Hawaii July 27th. I’m ready to play for the Warriors."
McBride is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. He said he was timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He drew interest — but not scholarship offers — from UCLA and Tennessee last fall. Both had hoped he would have been able to transfer in January.
McBride said he kept in contact with UH associate head coach Rich Miano. Because the Warriors used up their allotment of scholarships for 2010, McBride was told he could join as a preferred walk-on.
"If I want a scholarship (in 2011), they told me I would have to work for it," McBride said. "I’m all for it. I don’t mind. When I first got to (Mendocino), they told me I had to earn a starting job. I worked hard for it. It’s the same with this. I know it’s better for me to work hard for something than to be given something. I’m going to work hard."
McBride said financial aid and loans will cover his school and living expenses.
"I’m training hard," McBride said. "I’m running and lifting weights every day."
McBride said he will have three years to play two seasons.