Daniel James Amendola

Daniel James Amendola (born November 2, 1985) is a former American football wide receiver who is currently a coaching assistant/returners coach for the Las Vegas Raiders. He played college football at Texas Tech. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2008.

After spending his entire rookie season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, Amendola then spent part of the 2009 season on the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles before being signed by the St. Louis Rams. With the Rams, he began his career as an active player over four seasons. He then spent the next five seasons with the New England Patriots where he appeared in three Super Bowls, winning two. He then had stints with the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans over the final four seasons of his career.

Early years

Amendola attended The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas, playing football under coach Weldon Willig. He completed his high school career by leading his team to its first-ever Texas state championship game. Although they lost the championship to North Shore High School, Amendola finished his senior season with 1,045 receiving yards, 129 rushing yards, and eight touchdowns.

College career

During the 2005 season, Amendola made two memorable plays that led to Red Raider victories. The first was late in the 2005 game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Tech was trailing and on fourth down, a Cody Hodges pass attempt was tipped, and Amendola made a leaping catch in traffic. He was tackled immediately and appeared to have been stopped just short of a first down. However, the spot was reviewed by the replay officials and the final spot of the ball resulted in a first down. The drive was kept alive and resulted in yet another disputed call—Taurean Henderson’s stretch over the goal line on the final play of regulation, which gave the Red Raiders the victory over the Sooners.

Another game-changing play came when Amendola recovered the fumble from an intercepted pass during the final drive of the 2005 game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Tech needed a touchdown to win. Tech quarterback Cody Hodges’s pass was tipped and intercepted. Instead of taking a knee to seal the victory, the Nebraska defender decided to run with the ball and had it stripped. Amendola dove for the loose ball and recovered it. Tech retained possession, resulting in a game-winning touchdown pass from Hodges to Joel Filani on fourth down with under 30 seconds remaining.

As a junior in 2006, Amendola had 48 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns.

As a senior in 2007, Amendola had 109 receptions for 1,245 yards and six touchdowns.
Amendola majored in Communication Studies while at Texas Tech, but left early to train for the NFL Combine.