Alex Daniel is no stranger to major college football programs and has garnered scholarship offers from schools in the SEC, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and WAC to name a few. Schools like Arkansas, Central Florida, East Carolina, Air Force, Akron, Tulane, San Diego State offered early. One school Ball State University also spotted the talent of this Roswell HS (Georgia) running back during his junior year. Ball State offered Alex a scholarship shortly after watching game film of Alex and meeting him in person during the Spring of last year. Coach Jeff Hecklinski at Ball State is responsible for the identification and recruiting of prospects in the talent rich Peach Tree state for the Cardinals. Coach Hecklinski has already successfully recruited a dozen or more HS football players from the state of Georgia. Looking at the success that a number of former Georgia HS players are having on Ball State's football team (all originally spotted by Coach Hecklinski) bodes well for the apparent enthusiasm Coach Hecklinski has for Alex. Head Coach Brady Hoke shares in that enthusiasm hence the early scholarship offer.
One thing you can never have enough of at the major college football level is talent at the running back position. It is no secret Ball State has talent at the position currently but is definitely "short" on height and overall size - no pun intended. The tallest running backs currently in the three deep depth chart are true freshman Frank Edmonds and Koreen Burch, both 5' 9", who were backing up MiQuale Lewis,who is a 5' 6" dynamo, prior to his going down with a season ending injury at Nebraska. Alex Daniel measures right at 6' tall and currently weights in at 195 pounds but is projected with his frame to play at 205 - 210 pounds without losing any speed and quickness. Alex has the speed major programs like Ball State admire. Alex consistently clocks 40 yard dash times sub 4.5 and demonstrates his quickness to opposing defenses currently on Friday nights. Watching film on Alex one can easily see the attributes of speed, quickness and tenacity that caught Coach Hecklinski's eye. Playing running back for Ball State a school that plays in a tough league like the MAC is no easy assignment. Ball State is also developing a reputation for an annual out of conference schedule as tough if not tougher than most major college programs in the country with the likes of Florida, Kansas State, Connecticut, Auburn, Kentucky, Clemson, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Purdue, Iowa, Auburn and Michigan in recent years. Coupled with this years slate of Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana has top talent taking notice across the country. Alex Daniel has taken notice as well and he and his father Kenny talked with the BallStateInsider.com about Alex's recent official visit to Ball State.
Alex said the visit was "great" and he really enjoyed the entire experience. He was impressed with the stadium, weight room/training facilities and the campus he said for being large is well laid out and beautiful with a great blend of new and old architecture.
"I roomed with Briggs Orsbon from Ohio who Ball State is also recruiting very hard and he took his official visit when I did," Daniel said. "Briggs was a good guy and I liked him as we had much in common. After the game we went out for dinner at a nice spot on campus in the "Village" and several of the Coaches joined us - it was a good time. We had a chance later Saturday night to get out on campus with our hosts (Sean Baker and Dan Ifft) and met some of the players especially some of the guys in the offensive line - they were good guys and very welcoming.
"Sunday morning we had breakfast with some of the coaches and I was also introduced to one of the top administrators at the College of Business who gave up part of his Sunday morning to greet me and talk about my academic interest with my dad and I.
"Alex really appreciated the effort and so did I," reported Alex's dad Kenny. "The University is very serious about the student athlete getting a good education. Ball State University clearly prides themselves in graduating their student athlete's and Coach Hoke and the football program were clear about that. The support system to assist the student athlete is in place and the oversight from the coaching staff on academic progress of its players is ongoing through graduation."
Kenny Daniel also reported how impressed he and Alex were with the attitude and demeanor of the Coaches and players after suffering a loss on Saturday "you can learn a lot" in that setting. "We were very impressed to see the weight room full late Sunday morning with players focused on getting stronger and better and demonstrating great determination and character preparing for their next opponent," Alex said. Alex also reported that over all he had a great experience and that Ball State was one of the schools he is very much interested in. Alex knows there is great opportunity for him to fill that particular void at the running back position that Ball State has targeted him for.
"I want to get a good education and have an opportunity to play early in my college career and Ball State clearly offers that opportunity for me" Alex said.
Alex reports "my plans call for me to finish my senior year in football as strong and positive as possible and then hopefully by the end of November I will be able to make my college choice known". You can count on the Ball State coaches following Alex every step of the way as he is clearly a guy with the talent they need but equally as important the demonstrated character and family support that would fit in perfectly with the Ball State football team.
The BallStateInsider.com plans to go to Roswell, Georgia in November to follow up on Alex and report back on this key prospect. This writer has always heard great things about Georgia high school football and is looking forward to the experience and reporting back about Alex and his recruitment status.