SMU has yet to find an impact nose tackle in the Class of 2014. But maybe the Mustangs will have better luck in the Class of 2015.
Last week, SMU extended an offer to four-star Bishop Dunne defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, who should be at the very top of their board. SMU defensive backs coach Derrick Odum recently began making inroads at Bishop Dunne, but the offer came as a big surprise for Daniels.
"I was actually searching online to see which defensive tackles were ranked in front of me when I saw that people were putting SMU on my offer list," Daniels said. "I called my high school coach to confirm it, and he told me that he was just about to call me and tell me about it. I was shocked because I had never heard from them."
At 6-foot-4, 275-pounds, Daniels is more suited for a 4-3 scheme, but there is no doubt that he could come in and make an immediate impact in SMU's 3-4 scheme as a nose tackle. Daniels was one of the most dominant private school players in the state and was nearly unstoppable this season.
With offers already in hand from schools such as Baylor, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma, it is imperative for SMU to step up its game when it comes to Daniels' recruitment. Despite the lack of contact, Daniels has high interest in the Ponies.
"Even though it's not a BCS school, I'm really excited about SMU. My whole life, I've been attached to the program," Daniels said. "When I was a little kid, it was a huge day for us when we got to play our pee-wee championships at their stadium. And I've gone to games, and I know that the school is really strong academically.
"I also have a really good connection there because one of my best friends is Jeremiah Gaines. He had some big offers, but he committed there. I'm definitely going to call him and get his thoughts on SMU. He's a really smart, spiritual guy, and it would be cool to play with him."
Daniel's father, Tony, played defensive end at Texas Tech and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. The Red Raiders are expected to be around the top of his list when he starts narrowing things down.
But at the moment, Daniels does not have any favorites and is just enjoying the recruiting process.
"It's been crazy. I already knew I was going to get some offers from local schools but when I got that Ohio State offer, it was like wow," Daniels said. "Right now, I don't have a list. All the schools that have offered me now though are guaranteed to be considered later."
This past season, Daniels, who was named first team all-state, guided Bishop Dunne to the second round of the playoffs and has even bigger expectations for 2014. This winter, he's been staying in shape by playing basketball and hitting the weight room.
"I think my junior year was great. I met some of my goals, and I got ranked where I wanted to be ranked," Daniels said. "Next season, I think we're going to have a good team. I've already stepped up as a leader by making sure everybody is getting in the weight room."
SMU Offers 4-Star Defensive Tackle
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