While DeAndre McDaniel's official position is at safety, that's not the only position at which he can make a difference. McDaniel has seen time at cornerback along with both the free and strong safety slots along with the wide receiver position for Tallahassee's Amos P. Godby High School. Standing 6' 1" ½ and weighing in at 190 pounds, DeAndre provides his eventual school with a very solid base to start with from his true freshman season and his 4.5 40 yard dash doesn't deter coaches from dreaming.
During his junior campaign, he snagged 27 catches for 657 yards and six touchdowns at wide receiver. At safety, McDaniel had 53 tackles, eight interceptions returning three of those for scores. He was named First-Team All-State and currently has offers from USC, Clemson, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Iowa, Purdue, Maryland, Louisville, Nebraska and Connecticut. He is also receiving heavy interest from Florida and FSU. McDaniel claims no favorites and plans to be camping at Georgia, FSU and possibly LSU if he can fit the Tigers into his schedule. He cites his strengths as reading the opposing quarterback and offensive line well and his physicality.
Though it's early in the recruiting process, it is never too early to make an impression on a prospect you want to call your own and one team out of the ACC has done that with DeAndre. "I'd say Clemson (is recruiting the hardest), because that's the only school I've been to besides FSU and the coaches talk to me, they recruit me hard, they send me five to ten letters every week just to keep in touch," he said.
So it appears the Tigers are showing McDaniel plenty of love early on, but what about the Big Red and their chances with the talented young man from Tallahassee? "They got a pretty good chance. I'll be calling Coach (Randy) Jordan sometime soon. He said they're coming at me pretty hard. They've been sending me letters but just not as much as Clemson. If I was to make a list today I'd say they're in my top five," DeAndre said.
Nebraska's use of letters may not match up with Clemson's, but DeAndre said that what he's being shown by the Cornhuskers is definitely a positive step in his recruitment, especially when it's handwritten. "The handwritten mail, that's the mail I'm going to open anyway. I mean, I read some of the informational but some of it I put it down. Once, they (all of Nebraska's coaches) all wrote at once, they all send cards from all of them. It made me feel like they really like me. I don't want to read into it too much, because that's just the recruiting process, but I see them as coming at me hard," said McDaniel.
When looking at a prospective team, DeAndre plans to check out just how many members of the secondary are coming back because he wants to make an impact in due time. "The secondary can't be too deep. If they've got like two or three safeties at free safety and a couple of corners, I wouldn't mind going because I could play cornerback, free safety or strong safety and I don't mind playing any of that as long as I'm in the secondary," he said. McDaniel also wants to make sure that his college will have a good chance of winning a fair number of games and he feels he'll be able to get a solid education at any college.
McDaniel has already visited Clemson and FSU as he mentioned, but would also like to get out to Georgia, LSU and Florida. The coaching staff for Nebraska is talking to he and his coach about coming up for a game later on this year. DeAndre also mentioned that USC, Florida, FSU, Clemson, Arkansas, North Carolina and the Cornhuskers have been out to evaluate him at school.