Maryland’s defensive-back offer barrage continued Dec. 19 when head coach D.J. Durkin handed out a pair of scholarships to two touted twins. Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) cornerback Elisha Daniels and safety Elijah Daniels both committed to Minnesota back in June, but the brothers were thrilled when the Terps pulled through.
“It’s exciting to get any offer, and it’s an honor for any university to offer you a spot in their program,” said the corner Elisha Daniels, a 6-foot, 185-pounder who runs a 4.42-second 40-yard dash. “But Maryland is a school both me and my brother are definitely considering. It’s a very good school in general, and Coach Durkin is a great defensive coach. I saw him at Michigan and Florida, and his defenses and how he developed his players were great. I mean, look at all the players he helped get to the League. So that’s a school me and Elijah definitely want to take an official visit to. We’re going to be setting that up with Coach Durkin real soon.
“We’ll visit there, see what Maryland is about, and then compare it to Minnesota. Then after that we’ll weigh the pros and cons of both and come to a decision.”
Elisha Daniels -- who has made no bones about his desire to play alongside his brother in college (“100 percent; there’s no question about it,” he said) -- said that although he and Elijah Daniels (5-11, 195 pounds) knew of Durkin, they had never spoken to him before Dec. 19. Afterwards, they were “fired up” about UMD’s new headman.
“Coach Durkin is a real cool guy, and I can tell he lives and sleeps football,” Elisha Daniels said. “He’s energetic and passionate, and that’s the type of coach I want to play for. He’s also a real personable guy and a cool guy; I can tell he relates well to his players.
“I liked how he was saying how me and my brother are both his type of player. He loves our physicality, our aggressiveness and how we bring it every play. He thinks we could really fit in well at Maryland and help the defense right away.”
Elisha Daniels said Durkin didn’t specifically address Maryland’s lack of defensive back depth, but the Florida corner was fully capable of checking out the Terps’ roster and performing a couple Google searches.
“Just looking at what Maryland has, I can tell they need DBs,” Elisha Daniels said. “And that’s big for me and Elijah – we want a chance to come in, play early and help change a program around. Me and my brother have always been leaders and we’ve always taken on challenges. That’s one of the reasons we committed to Minnesota. It’s a chance to lead and make a lasting impact. We could do the same thing at Maryland.”
In addition to the Daniels brothers’ initial reaction to Durkin and the depth chart, Elisha Daniels said there were other reasons to be excited about the Terps. He noted that UMD is yet another Big Ten suitor that will give both he and Elijah a chance to attend the same school (Minnesota is the only other Big Ten school to offer the pair). The corner also noted Maryland’s Under Armour connections and his affinity for fellow Floridian and current Terps’ corner William Likely.
“Under Armour is really cool, so that stands out, and then seeing William Likely up there is great,” Elisha Daniels said. “When me and my brother were younger, we used to go over to Likely’s high school [Belle Glade] and watch him play, because that’s where our dad went to high school. So to see him up at Maryland on TV, and making plays like he does, that’s really cool for us. Maybe me and Elijah could do the same type of thing there, coming from Florida and making an impact there. We’ll have to see.”
Besides the Terps, the Daniels brothers are also considering taking officials to UCF and Iowa State. They officially visited Minnesota Oct. 31, and Elisha Daniels said the Gophers’ coaches have continued to reach out in earnest.
“When me and my brother went up to Minnesota, it was a true family up there. The coaches are really big on family and really create a great environment for the players,” Elisha Daniels. “Even when we were up there back in July for an unofficial, they treated us like we were already part of the program. And it’s the same way with the city and the area; everyone is so welcoming. Then just knowing we can play early there and be a major part of the program, that was the main reason we chose Minnesota.
“So I’d say we’re still very happy with Minnesota, but we’re going to give Maryland a look too just to see what they’re about.”
Note: To read Elijah Daniels' comments on the Maryland offer, click HERE.