McDaniel is back and ready to play

Last week, Damon McDaniel was the proud new father of a baby boy. While he was at home with his family in Virginia Beach, his team was in Tallahassee struggling with the Miami. McDaniel is now back and staying focused trying to help the ‘Noles' prepare for the toughest part of their schedule. He spoke with the media Tuesday night after practice to talk this and more.

Following the game against Wake Forest, Damon McDaniel went back home to Virginia Beach to be with his family as his son was born. Damon Jr. was born on October 16 at 2:05 pm. While his team was preparing for their rivalry game with Miami, he was helping to bring his son into the world at the side of the mother, Shantiel.

McDaniel also missed some practice during the week before the team took on Alabama in Jacksonville. While it may be keeping him from seeing the field as much as he would like, McDaniel knows there are some things more important than football at times. "Things come up in life. You just gotta figure out what's more important in your life. Family is the most important thing in mine. So if I gotta go home and take care of something serious, definitely, I'm gonna go. I'm not gonna go home just to see my family or stuff like that during football season. I'm gonna go home when it's really important; when they need me there."

While McDaniel was taking care of his personal business back home, he was still able to watch the team take on Miami. "I watched the game; I was flipping back from the Florida State and Florida games. So I saw most of the game." Damon said, "It hurt. You feel like you could be out there, do something to help, anything to help, you know? It just hurts to keep losing."

McDaniel returned to the practice fields Tuesday for the first time since before the Wake Forest game. "It feels good, get back in conditioning; I had to sit out a while you know and go handle some business back home." McDaniel said, "I felt I did good, I didn't drop any balls, ran a couple of routes. I felt I did pretty good coming back losing a whole week." McDaniel tried to do what he could in Virginia to stay in shape. "I tried to do a little bit of stuff at home, just to keep me going. Keep my mind on it also."

Damon McDaniel has averaged 8.1 yards per touch so far this season on four receptions and three carries. He will return to the team's lineup this Saturday when the Seminoles take on Duke. Bobby Bowden has won 15 straight games against the Blue Devils and looks to continue the streak this week. Kick-off is set for 8:00 p.m. EST and will air nationally on ESPNU.

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