McDaniel is ready to be a Husky

It's become the norm over the past decade for a handful of high school seniors to graduate and enroll early each year to get a jump start on their college football careers. This year, the Huskies will have only one -- North (Torrance, Ca.) LB/RB Ryan McDaniel -- and he told recently that he can't wait to get to Montlake...

"I'm really excited," McDaniel said recently without a hint of hesitance. "I'm going to miss my family and my friends, but I've been looking forward to this my whole life, especially once I made my decision.

"I get up there on the 23rd (of March) and I start classes there and I'll start working out and all of that. It's something I've worked for my whole life, so it feels like a dream almost because it doesn't seem real yet."

Because McDaniel blew out the ligaments in his right knee and missed almost the entire season, he hasn't been able to do much in the way of cardio, but he said that is starting to change.

"Instead of a six-pack, I sorta have a 'snack pack' going on right now," McDaniel said with a laugh. "I haven't been able to do that much cardio, so I'm up to 230 pounds right now.

"Almost all of the work I've done has been upper body, but I'm jogging and I'll be able to do sprints in a little while.

"I'm just taking it slow and making sure I don't set myself back any. I've been rehabbing four days a week and it's helped me learn to be patient, but also not to take things for granted when I get back to playing."

McDaniel noted that he speaks to Husky running backs coach Joel Thomas at least once a week and that he knows the plans for him this spring.

"I won't be doing much this spring," McDaniel said. "I'll be rehabbing, getting mental reps and stuff like that, but I won't be doing much as far as actually doing practice.

"That's going to be hard because I love to play the game and I don't want to miss out on things, but I have to make sure I'm ready to go this fall and that will be the time when I can show the coaches what I can do."

McDaniel also admitted that he's still unsure of where he will end up playing once he's back to full health.

"Honestly, I've told you guys before, I really don't care where I end up playing," McDaniel said. "I love playing offense or defense. I just want to help the team any way that I can and if I can get on the field quicker playing linebacker then that's great, but playing running back is also something I love to do and right now I think the coaches are just going to keep evaluating me and then they'll decide where I can play and help out the most."

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