Daniel Wants to Help Build

A lot of prospects have dreams of stepping into big stadiums and donning the uniform of a team that has immediate national championship aspirations.

Running back Alex Daniel, however, has different priorities. According to his father, Kenny Daniel, Alex wants to help build something special.

"Alex is different than a lot of other kids you'll talk to," his father said. "He's not going to go with the norm all the time. He won't do what everyone thinks he's going to do. He's not the kind of kid that's going to be happy standing on the sidelines. I think he would like to go to a place where he feels like he can help them build. I think he likes the idea of going to a place that has a lot of potential. That's why he's interested in a place like Central Florida, with George O'Leary, and that's why he's really excited about Skip Holtz at East Carolina. His mother and I really want him to go to a school that has strong academics, so he'll consider that too."

The 5-11, 195-pound back hails from Roswell, GA, a school that has upwards of eight to ten Division I prospects on its roster. This year Roswell returns 35 juniors from last year's squad and they should make a run for another state championship in the fall. With offers from the likes of Arkansas, East Carolina, Central Florida, San Diego State, Air Force, Tulane and others, he already has plenty of options. He might have more before too long.

Daniels recently attended a camp at Colorado by invitation, and he may attend similar camps at Vanderbilt, Maryland and Boston College.

"I got an email from the Utah coach not long ago, and they said they were really impressed with Alex," said Daniels' father, who jokes that he acts as his son's agent. "I think Utah will be offering soon. The coaches at Louisiana Tech, Arizona State and Miami of Ohio are showing a lot of interest too. We might do some camps, but we're going to try to get all that out of the way so we can focus on winning a state championship this fall. Our guys (Roswell) have been doing some 7-on-7 camps and they've done well. With Alex working out three days a week and doing that, there isn't as much time as there would otherwise be. The travel schedule with camps can really wear on you, and it takes time away from your team."

On July 26-27, Roswell will participate in the American High School Football Championships - a sort of competition between 64 of the top teams in the nation. Daniel plans on taking all five of his allotted official visits, so a decision might not come anytime soon.

"With schools from San Diego State to Utah, to closer programs like East Carolina and Central Florida, he's going to need to see all that he can to make a decision. He's probably going to want to visit Arkansas as well, since they've offered."

It's no surprise East Carolina and others are interested in Daniel. Aside from possessing legit 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, he has the kind of toughness that coaches love in a prospect.

In Roswell's first playoff game last fall, Daniel went out with an MCL injury. He was told that he would be done for the season. After watching his team struggle to a 10-9 win in the second round, he made life hell for his mother, father and coach. He went back to his doctor and was fitted for a knee brace. He was told he could play if he felt he could do it. Over the next three games he rushed for 108, 241 and 128 yards. Daniel is now 100-percent and ready for his senior season.

Air Force and Central Florida were the first schools to offer Daniel, and the East Carolina coaches are impressed with his athletic ability. They have stressed that they are very interested in him and would love to see him don the purple and gold in 2008.

"The three things he's probably going to look at the most are how he fits in, whether it's going to be a competitive team, and whether or not he'll be able to play early. I think wherever he goes the coaches are going to need to find a way to get him on the field or just go ahead and tell him they're redshirting him," he laughed. "I don't think he'll do too well standing on the sidelines not knowing. He just loves to play the game."

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