Brother Keeps Daniels in Dark

James Daniels made is older brother, LeShun, wait like everybody else to find out where he was headed to college. In the end, the younger sibling decided to join his big bro at Iowa. LeShun talked about the dynamic with James, his improvements heading into Year 2 with the Hawkeyes and more in this feature story with video.

LeShun Daniels eagerly awaited word on his brother's commitment last Thursday. The younger sibling refused to share the information with him beforehand.

"He was telling me that I wasn't going to find out until the public found out. That's when I found out," LeShun Daniels said.

It tuned out to be good news. James Daniels, a four-star center in the Class of 2015, decided to join his big brother at Iowa. He chose the Hawkeyes ahead of fellow finalists, Ohio State and Alabama.

The older Daniels hung back during a lot of his brother's recruitment. It wasn't until the family vacationed in Washington D.C. during the July 4th holiday that LeShun pitched the Hawkeye cause.

"I just talked to him about the program, the coaches, the strength staff and the history they have with offensive linemen," LeShun said. "I just told him that I didn't think there was a better place for him to go than here. I told him I thought he fit in better here than any of those other schools."

Iowa doesn't often receive commitments from players holding Ohio State and Alabama offers. And pulling a player away from the Buckeyes in their home state is very unusual.

Even LeShun wasn't sure what his brother was going to do in light of the circumstances.

"I honestly had no clue. He didn't really lean anywhere. He wasn't giving any signs," LeShun said.

LeShun was happy his brother found what he wanted at Iowa without pressuring him.

"I just let him do his thing. He didn't really talk to me during my process so I just left him alone and let him decide where he ultimately wanted to go," LeShun said.

James will play this fall for Warren (OH) Harding High before joining his brother in Iowa City. LeShun begins camp this month trying to move up the depth chart that shows him behind three upperclassmen - Mark Weisman, Jordan Canzeri and Damon Bullock.

"They're all good people, good backs. I just try to learn from them and add it to my game. It's always up to the coaches. Whatever they decide is fine by me," Daniels said.

Daniels (6-foot, 230 pounds) appeared in seven games as a true freshman in '13. He carried the ball 36 times for 142 yards.

"Pass blocking is one of the most important things. Coming out of high school, most people can run the ball, can catch the ball, but blocking is probably the biggest learning curve that you have to go through coming from high school," Daniels said.

Daniels feels like he has a better handle on protecting his quarterback and understanding the play book. Running Backs Coach Chris White agrees.

"We've got to find out about LeShun. LeShun has got to make a move. He did in the spring," he said.

Daniels looks more like Weisman than Canzeri or Bullock, who are smaller backs. He feels like he's developing a well-rounded skill set, however

"I try to emulate all of them. Obviously my size is a lot closer to Mark but I try to be like the others, using quickness and speed like Jordan and catch passes like Damon," Daniels said.

Daniels still is young for a true sophomore having just turned 19 in June. He's not looking to rush his development.

LeShun can proceed knowing this is his last season playing without his brother. It's news worth the wait.

"I think it will be pretty sweet to play with my brother again. Not many people can play big-time, Division I football, let alone have your brother play along with you. I think it will be an amazing experience," LeShun said.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories