Florida Athlete Likes Duke

After getting a jump start on the early recruiting process, one of Florida's top junior prospects has a good feel for some of the schools he's considering. Among those, the Blue Devils could be a big time factor. Read on for the complete story.

Having already attended camps at Duke and Clemson, Tate High School (FL) Tommy Daniels got an early feel for what it's like in the world of big time recruiting. With his remaining schedule including invites to camps at Alabama, Southern Miss, Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, and LSU, he's likely to know the process inside and out.

"He won't have a chance to attend all the camps he was invited to this summer because of scheduling conflicts," says Jim Daniels of his son. "But he attended Duke's because he's extremely interested in attending Duke University."

And early on it seems as though the Blue Devils' coaching staff is returning that interest in the rising senior, though it's tough to determine what position he'll play in college.

"I've been offered by Air Force to play quarterback," said the younger Daniels. "I can do that at schools that are going to run the option based offense, but the others are recruiting me to play either defensive back or running back."

As a junior at Tate he spent most of his time on offense, but with his team needing help on the opposite side of the ball, Daniels will likely spend his Friday nights playing iron man football, pulling additional duty as a defensive back.

If his productivity as a defensive back is as good as it was as an offensive threat, the Tate coaching staff will certainly be pleased.

Last season Daniels tallied 1,374 total yards – 590 on the ground (a 6.1 YPC average) and 784 passing yards (an 8.1 YPA average with a 51% completion percentage), and 12 touchdowns. The big numbers led to interest for a large number of programs, but Daniels has begun to narrow his list.

"Right now my list includes Air Force, Duke, Alabama, Florida,LSU, South Carolina, SouthernMississippi, Navy, Northwestern, and Stanford," says Daniels. "I think I've got a chance to be offered by Duke, Alabama, Florida,LSU, South Carolina, SouthernMississippi, Navy, and Northwestern."

While he's not ready to name a leader, Daniels does have good things to say about each program.

"I like the great education, discipline, and opportunity to serve my country. The academic and athletic reputations at Duke, Northwestern, and Stanford are also very attractive. And growing up in the South, it would be a real thrill to have a chance to play in the SEC."

So what will it take to put a school over the top in his eyes?

"I want to go somewhere that offers a quality education, and has a good reputation for both the coaching staffs and university. Going to the camps have given me a chance to learn more about each school."

Including the Blue Devils, where Daniels spent a weekend with his mother and father working out, and touring the campus. The time was well spent according to Tommy.

"Duke combines one of the best educations in the world and a prestigious reputation with the opportunity to compete at the Division-1 level. There is so much history and tradition there. The campus is beautiful and it just has a great atmosphere. What more could one ask for? I can easily see myself spending the next 4-5years of my life at Duke."

While working out in Wallace Wade, Daniels spent his time with the defensive backs – the position he will likely be recruited as by Duke. While he admits he's got a lot to learn, Daniels enjoyed the opportunity to get a first hand look at what spending four years in Durham would be like.

"I really liked the coaching staff's intensity. They create a real winning spirit on the field. They are very organized and get the most out of the practice time. All the coaches and graduate assistants were great to work with at the camp."

"I play QB at my high school, but I competed at DB at the camp. I learned some new techniques about playing pass defense that will really help me in my senior season since I will be playing both ways."

Daniels maintains a 4.18 GPA and has already scored a 27 on his ACT, qualifying him to compete at the Division One level. He's also ranked in the top 25 of his senior class and was selected to the National Society of High School Scholars and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Over the winter he was Invited to US Army All-American Bowl National High School Combine in San Antonio, TX.


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