2010 Intro: Daniel McCullers

RALEIGH, N.C. --- While Kendall Moore has attracted college coaches to Southeast Raleigh High, Daniel McCullers has shocked them upon their arrival.

"[A Duke coach] came to one of our playoff game practices last year, saw Daniel, and immediately turned around and called me and said ‘Look, tell me some more about this kid,'" Southeast head coach Daniel Finn said.

At a broad 6-foot-6 and 373 pounds, McCullers has also grabbed the attention of Alabama, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Junior Highlights:
"Every coach that comes through here they need to see him, they want to see him," Finn said. "He comes in and everybody's eyes get real big and they're fumbling trying to get their cards out to give him the information.

"Everybody wants him to come to one-day camps. People have said ‘Give us a half-a-day camp just to see how flexible you are and see if you can move.' Everybody loves him and everybody keeps calling checking on his grades."

McCullers plans to attend several camps this summer. While he isn't sure which camps, he's strongly considering the ones held by the in-state schools. He didn't camp anywhere last summer.

Academics, though, are a huge obstacle for McCullers.

"Daniel has some work to do in the classroom," Finn said. "Right now, the path that we're going to go is Daniel is probably going to have to go to junior college first.

"So what I'm trying to do now is every coach that comes in I tell him the situation. I'm trying to get them to say ‘Hey, we'll put him in a junior college here and keep up with him, because we like him to eventually come here [to our college].'"

McCullers considered the prep school route, but has decided against that path.

Although he carries his weight very well, coaches would prefer McCullers to slim down some.

"Coaches have talked about [losing weight],' McCullers said. "They want me to get down to 350-340 [pounds]. My plan is to get to 350 before the season."

McCullers said he has already lost 15 pounds from the end of his junior season.

Most schools are recruiting McCullers purely as a "lineman."

"They like him at defense, because that's where all the film is and they like how strong he is. But every one of them says, ‘Boy would he be a nice left tackle,'" Finn said.

Finn feels, on the collegiate level, McCullers' best fit is defensive tackle – specifically nose guard.

McCullers has played defensive tackle since arriving at Southeast, including the past two seasons on varsity. As a junior, he totaled 55 tackles and four sacks.

"The good thing about Daniel is we can put Daniel on one side of the field on defense and we don't have to worry about the run game," Finn said. "It helps us defensively. We can put Daniel on one side and we know after a couple of times they're not going to go that way anymore."

McCullers teams with Moore to create a dynamic defensive duo – especially against the run.

"Last year, we started off with Kendall and Daniel on the one side," Finn said. "We loaded up the other side, because we knew they weren't going to run inside on Daniel and outside on Kendall."

Unlike most of his teammates, McCullers didn't begin playing organized football until the ninth grade.

"We got him here [and] he didn't know a whole lot about football so we're trying to teach him," Finn said. "With him being as young as he is as far as football experience, it was easier to say ‘Hey Daniel, here's where you line up, go tackle the quarterback [and] go find the ball.' But, we're slowly trying to introduce some offensive stuff to him."

McCullers did play offense in "power situations," last fall, according to the coach.

"We're hoping to use him a lot more on offense this year, just because he's a big huge person," Finn said. "We can run behind him. He can pass protect, because you're not going to get by him."

Daniel McCullers Profile

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