Daniel Dodd Hears from BYU

Daniel Dodd has had an impressive high school career down in Gilmer, Texas. Now he is hoping that Division I coaches reward his outstanding performance on the field with a scholarship offer. Daniel is starting to hear rumblings that his hopes may become a reality.

Daniel Dodd's stat line is just sick.  Check this out: 190 tackles (12.6 per game), 5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, 2 pass break-ups and 1 fumble recovery, and that was just 1 year.  He put those numbers up while sharing the field with three D-I commits as a member of a Gilmer High School team that won the Texas 3-A State Championship. 

As a junior Dodd also put up impressive number starting at inside linebacker with 136 tackles (10.5 per game), 3 sacks and 1 fumble recover.  Dodd's junior numbers caught the eye of the BYU coaching staff.  Todd Bradford visited Gilmer in the spring of 2004 and made Dodd and his coaches aware of the Cougar's interest.  Dodd was excited, if not somewhat surprised, about the visit.  "I was alone in the weight room when Coach Kurt Traylor came in and told me that BYU was here to look at me," Dodd said.  "I said, ‘No way,' and he said, ‘No really, they're here.'"

That visit helped Dodd decide to attend BYU's summer football camp.  He arrived two weeks early to visit his family in Provo, and to attend BYU's multi-cultural camp, SOAR.  "My brother Paul [a BYU Law School student] took me up to the athletic office," said Dodd.  "Coach Bradford dropped everything he was doing and showed me around and introduced me to all the coaches.  Even Coach Crowton knew who I was, so that was cool."

"Cool" is the same word Dodd uses to describe his week at SOAR, a week-long college introduction for potential students, which touches on the unique spiritual and motivational aspects of LDS campus life.  "I got to stay in the dorms and see the campus," said Dodd.  "It's how I want to interact with other students.  I don't want to be around a party school."

Once Dodd made it onto the BYU practice field, he was determined to make an impression.  He spent the first two days working with the linebackers and then the last two days working with the safeties.  "I moved myself," commented Dodd.  "I figured that I should let them see me at safety since I was the smallest linebacker there.  Coach [Barry] Lamb said that would be a smart thing to do, to let Coach Mendenhall see me there."

Interestingly, Dodd was named Best Linebacker, only spending half of the camp at that position.  "When I was talking to Coach Lamb, he told me that if I do get a scholarship [offer by BYU], I would play safety for the first year or so until I fully filled out my body," said Dodd.  "He [Lamb] said after that I would probably go to linebacker. I would like to play for an aggressive defense like that."

When Dodd received his individual evaluation form at the end of the BYU football camp it only had five words on it: "See you in the fall."  Dodd left with spirits high and every expectation of hearing regularly from the BYU coaching staff; however that was not the case.  Dodd received a few letters from BYU coaching staff at the beginning of the fall but then the contact stopped completely.  Even after the Gilmer Buckeyes won the Texas 3-A State Championship and Dodd started racking up the accolades, he did not hear from BYU.

Recently, Dodd has learned why that may have happened.  Apparently, Dodd was a casualty of the changes in the BYU coaching staff.  Coach Bradford had been recruiting Dodd and when he left, so did all knowledge of Dodd's status.  Dodd's family has put together a highlight DVD and contacted schools about interest in him. 

Dodd's father wrote a letter to head coach Bronco Mendenhall asking that Dodd be given another look.  Coach Mendenhall replied in a letter of his own that all recruits would be given full and fair consideration.  Mendenhall requested film on Dodd so they could make their evaluation.

Dodd's father also left a message with Coach Paul Tidwell about Dodd.  Coach Tidwell called Dodd back immediately and expressed his surprise that Dodd was still available to be recruited.  Tidwell explained that Dodd was no longer on their recruiting board and the staff thought he was out of the picture.

Dodd assured BYU that he was very much available and very much interested in playing for BYU.  Coach Tidwell told Dodd that the coaching staff would need video footage of Dodd as soon as possible so that they could evaluate him.

Over 100 schools have contacted Dodd about continuing his playing days after high school, but none have actually extended a scholarship offer.  "I get letters from everywhere, but they don't mean much," Dodd admitted.  He has yet to receive his first offer, but he is not overly concerned about it. "No one has offered me a scholarship yet," he continued.  "I would like to go to BYU because it's a better atmosphere and I wouldn't have to worry about my [LDS] mission and all that."

Gilmer Head Coach Jeff Traylor is convinced that Dodd's perceived lack of size and speed are the numbers that keep college coaches from focusing on the more impressive numbers on the field.  "He's the best Linebacker we've ever had," Traylor stated. 

Dodd is 6'1", weighs 195-pounds and runs a 4.61 forty.  Those numbers may explain why schools have not been willing to work around Dodd's mission plans.  They may also explain why BYU was not more aggressive in following Dodd's senior season.

Dodd's high school coaches feel that he can make the jump to the D-I level with his current size and speed.  "I think he can be a weak side linebacker or a strong safety," said Traylor.  "He was a great receiver and safety before we moved him to linebacker.  He's got great hands, he's a great hurdler.  He shows you a lot of the necessary skills to move to another position."

Barr adds: "I definitely see him as a D-1 player.  I just think with his ability and knowledge of the game, he wouldn't have a problem at all."

That is quite a compliment from a coach who has players going to play with Kansas State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma next year.

Despite all the talk of changing positions, Dodd knows where he'd like to play.  "I'd rather play linebacker, but if I get to play, I'd play wherever they put me," Dodd said.

Traylor points out that there is always one number that coaches are most interested in, wins.  According to Traylor, that is the one number that Dodd can help his next head coach with.  "Someone needs to let Daniel Dodd play football," the Coach declared.  "He'll win someone a lot of games."

Dodd has recently been contacted by new Utah assistant coach, Derrick Odum.  While an assistant coach at University of Houston, Odum had been recruiting Dodd heavily the last two years.  BYU is definitely Dodd's number one choice, however his desire to play D-I ball is so strong that he would likely accept scholarship offer from another D-I program if BYU does not match the offer.  Those offers may soon come as Dodd's family recently mailed out a highlight DVD to over a dozen schools.


2002 District 11-3A Newcomer of the Year

2003 District 11-3A Defensive Co-MVP

2003 1st Team All East Texas

2003 3rd Team All-State

2004 Texas Prep Xtra All-East Texas Defensive MVP

2004 2nd Team All State

The Numbers




Tackles per Game


Fumble Recovrs


2002 (So.)







2003 (Jr.)







2004 (Sr.)














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