Things couldn't have gone better for DE/DT Sam Daniels of Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Va. The two-way prospect arrived at a football combine held at Lake Taylor High School in Virginia a virtual unknown on the recruiting trails. After checking in at 6-3, 240 pounds- ripping off an electronically-timed 40-yard dash of 4.8-seconds, bench pressing 185 pounds 35 times and recording a 32-inch vertical jump- Daniels left as one of the fastest rising players in the state of Virginia.
Last season Daniels rarely, if ever, left the field. He doubled as a DT and OT and was in on special teams as well. He finished off the year with All-Tidewater honors for his play on the offensive line and all-district recognition for his performance as both an OT and DT.
To date, Daniels has received interest from NC State, UNC, Michigan State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Syracuse, Clemson and Northwestern- with nearly all of that interest coming after his performance at the Lake Taylor combine. One school that has shown particular interest is NC State. Pack DB coach Manny Diaz was on hand for Daniels' workout and has helped establish the Wolfpack as the early front runner for the talented lineman's commitment. Daniels stated that he was impressed with Diaz's up-front approach.
"He's a cool guy," said Daniels. "I like him a lot. I call him every now and then. He always talks positive but he tells you the other stuff that goes along with it. He tells me there are players down there just as good as I am and I got to work hard when I get there. He tells me he's going to get me stronger in the weight-room and that I could probably play DE."
That relationship has Daniels listing State in front of four other ACC programs.
"Right now my favorites would be, one-NC State, two-UNC, three-Virginia, four-Virginia Tech and five-Clemson," said Daniels. "But State's my favorite. They're an ACC school and they're not too far from my house and I've always liked NC State in football anyway. And then the coach, he's talked to me more than anyone."
Daniels will get an up close and personal look at NC State as he will be camping with the Pack in July. He also has plans to camp at Virginia, Maryland and UNC.
Daniels added that he hopes to settle on his future college sometimes towards the end of next season and he hopes to land with a school that's relatively close to home. He plans to major in Architecture or Graphic Design.