Vicksburg HS DL Johnny Daniels

[Premium article] Gene's Page interviewed Vicksburg HS junior defensive lineman Johnny Daniels on April 3rd. Johnny was selected by The Clarion-Ledger as one of the top 50 Juniors in the state of Mississippi. He, along with teammate Delvechio Ellis, were visited by nationally known recruiting analyst Tom Lemming during Lemming's spring tour of the top players in the nation.

What does his coach say about Johnny: "He has quick feet, he runs well," said Vicksburg HS defensive coordinator Robert Erves. "He is so quick and strong, he will tie up two people on the line. Johnny benches about 300 pounds, squats 485 and deadlifts 575."


I have you listed at 6-2, 270. Is that correct?
"I'm 261."

Do you know what your forty speed is?

Do you play noseguard and defensive tackle on the defensive line?
"I play noseguard. Really, I play all positions on the defensive line. It depends on the game and where the other team runs the ball. If they run a sweep more than they run up the middle, they will put me on the end."

Which position do you feel you are better at?
"I think I am better at noseguard. When I play noseguard, I get to go whichever way I want to go. I feel I make better decisions at noseguard."

It seems like it would be more difficult to play noseguard because you probably have two players blocking you.
"I'm used to that."

Do you usually beat them?
"Yeah, I do."

What do you think are your strengths as a defensive lineman?
"I think that I have very quick feet and I am very aggressive coming off the ball."

What do you think you need to improve on?
"Cutting back. What that means is if a play is going one way, I would like to be able to run one way then stop on a dime and go back the other way. I can do it, but my reaction is not as fast as I want."

What were your personal stats last season?
"I had 87 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 7 sacks and a blocked kick."

How did you get a block kick playing noseguard?
"It was against Natchez. It was almost like my man didn't touch me and I ran straight through. I was about to dive and block the ball, but I got there and block the ball, the holder and the kicker (laugh)."

(Laugh) You got all three?
"I got all of them. My teammate picked up the ball and ran it back for a 91-yard touchdown. I got up and got a blindside block in, though."

(Laugh) I may have to call you Johnny "Killer" Daniels.

What personal goals do you hope to accomplish next season?
"I want to go over the 100 mark in tackles and double digits in sacks. I also want to score again. I scored the second game of my sophomore year. I had blocked the ball into the endzone and stumbled onto it."

What are your team goals?
"I want us to be the district champs and state champs."

What honors did you earn last year?
"I earned all-county, all-district and the MVP at the Mississippi State camp."

What football camps did you attend last summer?
"Mississippi State, that is all I attended last summer. I attended more camps my sophomore year. I attended MSU, Delta State and Grambling my sophomore year."

What camps do you plan on attending this year?
"I am attending the Nike camp on the 27th of this month. I also plan on attending the Mississippi State camp and some team camps. My coach is going to have us attend the team camps."

Did you attend any college football games last season?
"Yes sir, mainly all the USM games."

Have you attended any of the college Junior Days this spring?
"No sir."

Have you attended any spring games?
"I was going to attend the Ole Miss game but I took my ACT test then. I think I am going to attend the USM game on the 13th (of April)."

Did your parents attend any college?
"My mama attended Alcorn."

Do you have any brothers or sisters who have attended or are attending a college?
"I have a brother who attended Mississippi State."

Have you grown up a fan of any particular college?
"Penn State."

I'm just curious, why Penn State?
"I saw them play on tv a lot. I liked LaVar Arrington. I used to watch him play. He plays outside linebacker."

Are you still a fan of Penn State's?
"I was, but not too much anymore. I am a fan of Miami now."

What schools are sending you letters?
"LSU, Army, Colorado, South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, the University of Pennsylvania, Illinois, Duke, Notre Dame, Southern Miss, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Memphis, the University of Arkansas, Marshall, Florida Gators and Ole Miss. Ole Miss sends me a lot of letters."

Are you interested in any specific schools at this time?
"No sir."

Additional notes about Johnny:

  • Johnny seems to be a solid student. His gpa is ok. He took his ACT test for the first time Saturday, April 6.
  • Mississippi State, until they found out he was just a sophomore, wanted to sign Johnny after watching him play at their football camp a couple of years ago.

    Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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