Michael Daniel, a running back from Brookings, South Dakota, ran for nearly 1,000 yards last season on just 138 carries. His play has earned a scholarship at the IMG Academy in Florida, a prep school with a premiere football training facility.
"It will be hard, the hard part will be leaving my family, but I'm going down there chasing my dreams," Daniel, a Nebraska prospect, told Big Red Report on Monday night. "In the long run, it will help me be more successful going down there."
Daniel received a visit from Nebraska assistant coach Barney Cotton during the last week of the evaluation period. While the soon to junior won't be playing in the 500-mile radius in the future, it's likely the coaching staff will keep tabs on the former South Dakota prepster.
"My dad grew up in the Omaha area, so he is a Nebraska fan. He wants me to play there since it's close to him," said Daniel, who also knows Nate Gerry. "He's a man, that's for real. He's a crazy athlete and will give you 110 percent all the time.
"We played them in the second round of the playoffs, they killed us something like 48-0. We ran a sweep to the outside and I had a small receiver go out and try to make a block for me. Here comes Nate Gerry and the receiver literally stopped. Gerry had a free shot on me. I tried to give him a stiff arm, but it was way too late. He got me good."
"They are all interested in me, and love my film, but know it's going against South Dakota competition. I think that is holding them back on pulling the trigger of offering me," said Daniel. "I think once I get that first offer, I will just blow up from there.
"I want to play in the SEC since I'm a running back, but I'm not counting out the West Virginias, Nebraskas, or Wisconsins of the world. Obviously all those are great schools for running backs. I want a coaching staff that I can get a long with. I think you can really tell if you click with a coach. I want to also see how many years I will be sitting out, so the depth chart will be important."
Daniel is a bigger back for his age, standing at 6-foot and nearly 205-pounds.
"I can catch like a receiver. I put a lot of time into my routes, I think they are very important. I can catch the ball. I have speed – I just dropped down to a 4.5 forty. And I don't mind blocking," said Daniel. "I'm the all-around package if you ask me. I have a pretty high football IQ and really like doing everything."