Irish Enter the Race for McDaniel

I once asked top wide receiver prospect Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.) if he was the best wide receiver in the nation. His answer was that he might not be the best receiver on his team. I remember thinking at the time that Percy was simply being modest. What I later realized is that he was just being honest. The player Harvin was referring to was his Landstown high school teammate Damon McDaniel (5-11, 192-pounds).

Last season Damon McDaniel had an incredible 68 catches for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping Landstown to an undefeated season and a Class AAA Division VI state title. He has every major program from around the country pounding on his door. Does this standout form Virginia have interest in Notre Dame?

"Yeah I do," McDaniel said. "They just started recruiting me a month or two ago. They did offer me.

"The Notre Dame coaches just came by my school the other day," he continued. "I really didn't get a chance to talk to them because of the rules, but I did see coach Weis and his Super Bowl ring."

What was his impression of Charlie Weis?

"He's a good person," he said. "Basically he's a nice guy. He's football-minded; he's offensive-minded and he's pretty laid back.

"Coach Latina, he's a really nice guy -- Lots of energy."

What did the Irish coaches say about McDaniel?

"They want me to be there (Notre Dame)," McDaniel explained. "They want me to take a visit, check out what the school can do for me, and check out the academics. You got to come here and work, but if you work you'll get on the field. "

We asked McDaniel if he looks at depth charts when considering schools.

"I don't look at depth charts," McDaniel said. "I look at how the team plays and what the receivers do. I want to see how the offense does."

We also asked McDaniel which schools he was considering besides Notre Dame.

"Florida, FSU, Miami, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State," he replied.

The Irish haven't been a top program recently so we asked McDaniel if that is something he thinks about when considering Notre Dame.

"No. Since they have a new coach, I think he's won three Super Bowls; he's going to turn things around," McDaniel said. "I can't base my decision on what they've done in the past. I'll pay attention to what they do this year. To tell you the truth, ND seems more like a running school, than a team that throws the ball.

"What I've learned about this (recruiting/college decision) is that you have to do what is best for you. I want my family to see me play and everything, but it's has to be my decision.

McDaniel also says he shouldn't have a problem qualifying.

"I think I'm qualified, but I'm going to retake the SAT to make sure," McDaniel said. He reports a 2.5 g.p.a. and an 850 SAT.

Comments: McDaniel is the type of player Notre Dame must start landing in order to reach the dominant level they once enjoyed. The staff has just started pursing him more heavily, so they are behind the other schools that he mentioned. The Irish must get it done on the field in order to have a chance with McDaniel. He's an outstanding player and seems like a great character guy as well. Top Stories