Tigers add another Elite DE to 2013 class
The Avon (IN) 4-star prospect told TigerNet that the relationships he built with the Clemson coaching staff made the decision an easy one.
“Coach [Brent] Venables and Coach Swinney and Coach [Marion] Hobby are all just good people,” Daniel said. “I really got a chance to know coach Venables, and he told me how he would use me and I got to learn more about his system. He was able to answer all of the questions I had.”
The visit was the first for Daniel, who had also visited Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State, but he said Clemson just felt different.
As a result, told Venables about his decision first.
“We were sitting in his office when I told him,” he said. “He came to my school to see me twice, so I felt like he and I had a really good connection. He took me outside to the camp, where I then told Coach Swinney. He was real excited. He then told me he wanted me to be sure this was the right choice, and I told him it was. This is it for me.”
Daniel said that a lot of people have asked him how a player from Indiana would wind up at Clemson, and he said the answer is simple.
“I grew up in Alabama,” he said. “I knew I could wind up at a school in the south. And I wanted to come to a school where I could play early and have an impact on the game. I feel like I am a world-class player that likes to get to the quarterback. I play hard.”
He told TigerNet he had hard times growing up in Alabama, eventually becoming a ward of the state before moving to Indiana.
“Those hard times made me the player I am today,” he said. “I went through a lot of emotions and a lot of tough times growing up. There were some hard times, and my mom really didn’t have the money to where I was able to live with her. But I worked hard to get to this point.”
He was named IFCA Class 5A junior All-state team in 2011, registering two sacks in helping Avon to a 10-2 record. As a sophomore, he had 55 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and five sacks. As a freshman, he had 6 sacks. He has a brother on the Georgia football team. He is rated as the 88th player overall in the nation by ESPN and is also rated as the No. 4 and No. 6 defensive end in the country by two recruiting services.