McDaniel played for Arizona State between 1984-87. During his career, the Phoenix native earned first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference honors at offensive guard in 1986 and 1987 and as a senior he became only the 10th player in school history to earn consensus All-America honors.
As part of the famed ‘homeboys' front five he helped lead the Sun Devils to ASU's first ever Rose Bowl victory, a 22-15 win over the University of Michigan in the 1987 contest.
McDaniel's football excellence continued after his collegiate career concluded, as he was selected 19th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1988 NFL Draft. He would go on to enjoy a stellar 14-year career with both Minnesota and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning an NFL record 12 Pro Bowl invitations (1989-2000).
He also received the NFL All-Pro recognition nine consecutive times (1990-98) and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990's, as determined by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McDaniel retired from the NFL after the 2001 season.
"I played 14 years in the NFL, did a lot of things there," McDaniel stated, "but coming back and being honored…it's like the commercial says: It's priceless. It is a big honor. As a lineman I couldn't have done it without the guys I played with like Kevin Thomas, Jim Warren, Todd Kalis, the coaches I owe a lot to them too…just the team around me helped me be the player that I was then and the person I am now."
McDaniel, who earned his ASU degree is a B.S. in Physical Education, arrived this week from his Minnesota residence for Saturday's festivities. His itinerary included a visit to ASU's Nadine and Ed Carson Student Athletic Center. While it wasn't his first visit to this facility, McDaniel did however take the proverbial grand tour this time that both impressed him and perhaps made him a little envy.
"I'm standing there looking and saying ‘Imagine what we could have done if we had this…' It is great that the players have all the facilities that they need," he commented. "Now the players have no excuse – they have all the stuff they need so let's go play…but it is very nice to see that (facilities)."
Needless to say that ASU's modest in comparison facilities back in the mid-80's, were more than adequate and didn't stop the maroon and gold from capturing the 1987 Rose Bowl championship. "It was obviously a different time, different era, we played back then with the minimal amount of stuff," said McDaniel.
Aside from obviously the historic Rose Bowl win, McDaniel noted that his biggest memory from that magical 10-1-1 1986 season was the friendships he made that exist to this day. in comparison "You have friends in college and you never realize that these will be your friends as an adult too," he commented. "I'm seeing some of them tomorrow and this weekend, and it's just great that you have these friends for life."