Arizona Western pass rusher Mar'Quess Daniels received his first major conference scholarship on Wednesday.
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett made the trip to Yuma for Arizona State and delivered the news to Daniels' coaches. The Sun Devils followed Arkansas State, the only other Division I program to have offered Daniels.
Daniels has already visited Tempe to see ASU in person. He attended the program's Spring Game last Saturday, which provided a good sense of what it's like playing football at the school.
"I like the facility, I like the team, and I got a chance to talk to a few coaches and they were cool," Daniels said. "I like the fans, they are dedicated to the team.
"Coach Bennett told me he really likes the way I play, I can impact the team a lot on defense, I can play different positions also. He told me to add Arizona State to the list of my offers."
After a high school career in Stratford, Connecticut, Daniels was forced to go the junior college route because he had no scholarship offers and wasn't an academic qualifier. He ended up making the cross-country move to Arizona Western because it offered a scholarships.
Even thought he didn't regularly start last season on a loaded team that went 11-1 and lost in the El Toro Bowl, Daniels finished in the Top-10 in the league with seven sacks and had 40 total tackles. He's gained 25 pounds since arriving at Arizona Western, now up to 245 pounds.
Daniels said he's been moved to Rover for this season, where he'll work to continue his assault on opposing quarterbacks. This year he'd like to lead the league in the category, with teammate Azur Kamara being perhaps his biggest competition. Kamara, who was also offered by ASU Wednesday, had eight sacks last season.
"I'm considered a hybrid, I can play either down or like a linebacker," Daniels said. "I played d-end my entire life but always played on both sides of the ball growing up so it was an adjustment coming here and just playing defense."
Arizona, Boise State, Florida Atlantic, Ole Miss and Washington State are also active in the recruitment according to Daniels.
"Getting the ASU offer is a relief because now I'm not stressing about offers," Daniels. "Now I know I have the exposure I need. I'm going to be able to play at a big school no matter what."
Yuma is a lot different from his home on the Northeastern seaboard, but Daniels is feeling like the decision to move there was worthwhile.
"It's hot out here but if you want to stay focused, Yuma is kind of isolated from a lot of activities, so it's easier to stay focused on football and school," he said. "So it's good."