After Recent Offer, Daniel to Visit U-M

Raleigh (NC) Millbrook 2015 defensive end Kengera Daniel talks about his quick growth spurt into a defensive end, and about his recruiting process - particularly Bama, FSU, OSU and also Michigan.

Sam Webb: Let us just start off with you first telling me how things went for you on the football field last year.

Kengera Daniel: "Pretty well. We had an 11 and three record. I ended up with 89 tackles, 13 sacks, and one interception and I missed three games."

Sam Webb: It really seems like your stock has been on the rise. Is that accurate or would you say you've been heavily recruited all along?

Kengera Daniel: "I haven't been heavily recruited all along. It kind of just started around February when I got my first offer and then more offers picked up over time. Basically I was being recruited last year by some of the in state school like UNC and NC State, who actually don't recruit me any more as hard. I was pretty small then and I started gaining weight and then all the out of state schools started recruiting me basically."

Sam Webb: When you say you were pretty small…

Kengera Daniel: "Yeah about two years ago, I was about 6'4", 185. Now I'm 6'6", 250."

Sam Webb: What about speed and quickness. Did you keep all of that from when you were 185?

Kengera Daniel: "I actually dropped it. I was running like a 5.01 at 185. Now I run a 4.89."

Sam Webb: So things have really ramped up for you. Break your game down for me. Give me a scouting report.

Kengera Daniel: "I have pretty good length. I actually look at my first up to be the most important so I pretty much cover the majority of the outside literally the entire game. Then I have to work on certain things that I'll definitely work on this year, like changing direction. I can still do that the majority of the time, I just have to work on it. I had this tweak in my knee last year but now it's gone. I have definitely improved that this year. One more thing I've improved, talking about motor. I had to get back in shape for this year. We are actually going to start workouts in about 20 days."

Sam Webb: You said the in state schools aren't recruiting you quite as hard. What happened, did they pick up guys at your position, what is kind of going on with that?

Kengera Daniel: "It was more like last year when I told you I missed three games due to my knee. It was a tweak, nothing serious, but I didn't want to play and ruin it even more. Basically they came to see my first game back, which was against the hardest team we had played all year. They came to see that game. I played that game. I played relatively well, considering my condition but it wasn't good enough, I guess."

Sam Webb: As they say, it is what it is. I'm looking at your offer list, which is pretty decorated. Doing a little research on you, Alabama has obviously offered and one of the stories I read said that they are your favorite. Is that still the case for you?

Kengera Daniel: "That story was published when they were my only offer actually. So they were the favorite because that was the only option I had at the time. Right now, there aren't necessarily any favorites. Over the past few months, I've taken a lot of visits. Basically I just soak in everything but I really haven't sat down and evaluated each team for what it is yet, which I probably will in the next month or so."

Sam Webb: Kind of give me the details on your Michigan recruitment. Was it a surprise that they offered you or have they been on you for quite awhile now?

Kengera Daniel: "It was a little bit of a surprise. They haven't been on for quite awhile but they sent me mail before, Coach Manning sent me a few camp invitations, a few letters. Then Coach Manning came to the school one day and he talked to me. So, he called me the next day and told me that I had an offer."

Sam Webb: How many offers do you have on the table right now?

Kengera Daniel: "I have 14 or 15 right now."

Sam Webb: What are you early impressions of Coach Manning? What do you think of him?

Kengera Daniel: "Coach Manning is a pretty cool guy. He was pretty young, too, very young. He actually went to Michigan. He's a great guy. I talk to him just about every day, pretty laid back, pretty smooth going but he seems like he would probably be a great coach, great trainer, great motivation and everything related to that."

Sam Webb: Outside of Coach Manning, do you know much at all about Michigan? Is that a program you're familiar with?

Kengera Daniel: "Not necessarily but I definitely plan on getting up there to learn more about it. The only thing I really remember that they are the winningest team in football history, every."

Sam Webb: So you said you think you might get up? Did he talk to you about coming up for camp or is he trying to get you up on a visit some other time?

Kengera Daniel: "He told me to come up July 27 on the visit that they have, a little cook out that they have for all the kids that have committed and a few offerees."

Sam Webb: Do you think you're going to make it to that?

Kengera Daniel: "I'm going to try my hardest to make it to that but if I don't, I'll still make it up there sometime sooner or later. Regardless of what day I come, I know I'll be going up there."

Sam Webb: Another thing I had read about you is that you had planned on trying to make a decision by your birthday. Is that kind of out the window now?

Kengera Daniel: "Kind of but I'm not sure. I thought about it first but it's pretty soon. It might be too early. I'm graduating early so I figure I had to make my decision soon so I picked that date, my birthday, but now that I look at it, it might be a little bit too soon. I might end up deciding during the season."

Sam Webb: Do this for me, kind of pretend for a second that you are at that point during the season when you are going to make your decision. What are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?

Kengera Daniel: "The way I see it, the college that I want to go to probably would be one where I feel like I'm wanted the most but I feel like basically I have the best opportunity to make to the next level. But if I don't make it to the next level, I have a great degree to fall back on and get a good job with."

Sam Webb: Is distance from home going to be a factor for you at all?

Kengera Daniel: "Not at all. I've really been traveling all my life. I don't think I've been in the same spot for longer than two years until now actually."

Sam Webb: Are you from a military family or…?

Kengera Daniel: "No, we just moved around a lot. I was born in Pompano Beach, FL. We moved to Tallahassee, FL. My parents graduated from Florida State but we were never in the same exact place. We moved around a lot. We moved up to the Clearwater area near Tampa, FL. Then we moved back to Tallahassee. Now we're in (North Carolina).

Sam Webb: So you've been all over the place. Moving around so much, did you ever grow up rooting for any particular school? Did you grown up a fan of any program?

Kengera Daniel: "I grew up a fan of Florida State and Ohio State. Florida State because my parents graduated from there, and Ohio State because I just remember watching them. I think the most memorable play I remember watching was A.J. Hawk. I don't know something about watching their defense that kind of attracted me."

Sam Webb: How does that work, growing up an Ohio State fan and all of a sudden you are considering Michigan. Isn't that like against the laws of nature? Can you do that?

Kengera Daniel: "I don't know. I have been to Ohio State before actually. It's a really nice campus. They just haven't really offered me a scholarship yet. Either way, they both are really great schools and I would consider them but it definitely seems like it is kind of against something."

Sam Webb: What's up with Florida State? Your parents are alums. What is Florida State saying to you?

Kengera Daniel: "I went to the camp down there last year. Basically they are telling me to keep working. They are going to basically keep watching me, keep recruiting me. They are not necessarily going to offer until I can see more basically, I guess that is what it is."

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