IN THE HUDDLE: Daniel Lincoln

Daniel Lincoln is not like most kicking prospects. Most don't bench 315 pounds, run a 4.6 (40) and can take your head off from a linebacker/safety position. Lincoln is considered one of the nation's elite kickers for the Class of 2006. Meet this all-around athlete and see what you think......

During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Daniel Lincoln
POSITION: PK/DB
SCHOOL: Ocala Forest
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 196
40 SPEED: 4.6
HEAD COACH: Wayne Yancey
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: Not rated.

There's something unique about a kicker or a punter. As many coaches across the country will tell you: they simply march to their own beat.

While kickers and punters are only popular when they do something to help their team win football games, they are often spending plenty of time off at the end of the field – or perhaps another field kicking and chasing.

Talk about a kicker or punter and there is a stereotype that they all fit. But if you want to see that mold broken – in a hurry – all you have to do is spend a week with Daniel Lincoln.

A lifelong soccer player who grew up in the Boston area, Lincoln followed what his father Philip taught him. Philip Lincoln was a professional soccer player who played in Greece and always showed his son how the game is played.

Until he entered his freshman year at West Port High, in Ocala, soccer was all Lincoln wanted to know about. Then, he was introduced to football. Big, quick and strong, there was NO way that this talented athlete would kickoff, kick extra points and field goals and sit on the bench. He wanted to be a part of the team.

"I love football," said Lincoln. "Kicking was something that I learned to do and got better at it. Playing linebacker and safety, is where my true passion was."


Daniel Lincoln
Speaking about passion, the classroom is where Lincoln started to turn heads. After his sophomore year at West Port, the challenge in the classroom would take him to nearby Forest High where had more AP and Honors Classes which helped him elevate his grade point average to 4.6.

This past season, Lincoln went from the safety/linebacker prospect to someone who turned himself into a decent kicker. Thanks to his coaches Todd Swearingen and former University of Florida Lou Groza Award winner Judd Davis, kicking went from the back burner to a priority, and he continues to work harder and harder to get better.

"Thanks to the coaches who really impacted my life, kicking became more of a priority," said Lincoln. "When I went to Forest, I had to start all over again with new coaches and teammates, but things worked out fine."

His junior year saw him start at linebacker for the Wildcats and do quite well for a playoff team. He also showcased his skills as a kicker, booting 4 of 6 field goals (missing from 55 and 57 against a stiff wind).

When January arrived, Lincoln worked harder than ever. He started kicking off the ground, sailed his kickoffs through the end zone on a regular basis and still managed to run 4.6 (40), bench 315 pounds and put up 185 pounds 18 times in two combines.

For all his hard work, kicking seven days a week and making sacrifices, Lincoln's life didn't change until last weekend, when he took part in the Scout.com/oneononekicking.com at the University of Miami. It was his official "coming out" party, and it was in front of some of the nation's best kickers.

"Daniel Lincoln has the potential to be the best kicker in the nation," said Mike McCabe, Founder of Oneononekicking.com. "For two solid days, he showed just why many have talked about his athletic ability."

STRENGTHS: Accuracy inside the 50 is amazing. His ability to kickoff five to six yards deep makes him someone who has the ability to do it for years to come.

The very fact that he grew up a soccer player, competes on the defensive side of the ball, kicks as well as anyone in the nation and maintains a more than impressive grade point average gives Lincoln a serious opportunity to be rated in the top two or three nationally for the 2005 season.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: Obviously, colleges are now looking at his skills as a kicker who could make a difference for years to come, so this should be his final season playing linebacker.

OVERALL: There are very few things that make me boast about a high school athlete after watching and talking to him/her just one time. Lincoln is one of those rare exceptions. Before I knew that he was a standout linebacker who ran well and was strong, I looked at him as one of the top kicking prospects in the nation after watching him for a little more than three hours.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: While Iowa, Louisville and the University of Southern California have been in on Lincoln over the past year, you can now expect the word to get around about him being nationally-rated very soon.

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE – PATRICK ADOLPHE
IN THE HUDDLE – QUINTIN HANCOCK
IN THE HUDDLE – CHARLES DEAS
IN THE HUDDLE – DONALD BOWENS
IN THE HUDDLE – ROBERT LOVE
IN THE HUDDLE – CAZ PIUROWSKI
IN THE HUDDLE – STERLIN JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE – JOHN WARE
IN THE HUDDLE – MARKEVIOUS POWELL
IN THE HUDDLE – BILLY LOWE
IN THE HUDDLE – JAVON HILL
IN THE HUDDLE – CODY CLINTON
IN THE HUDDLE – JARED MARTIN
IN THE HUDDLE – COLIN MCCARTHY
IN THE HUDDLE - DONTAE JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - DAMON PIFER
IN THE HUDDLE - CHRIS SORCE
IN THE HUDDLE - SHOMARI GRANT
IN THE HUDDLE - DARRELL ROSEMAN
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES POE
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - COURTNEY JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - BRYAN THOMAS
IN THE HUDDLE - JORDAN DALRYMPLE
IN THE HUDDLE - PRESTON PARKER
IN THE HUDDLE - SABBATH JOSEPH
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN KHAWLY
IN THE HUDDLE - BRANDON JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE - KEITH HOUSTON
IN THE HUDDLE - REGGIE ODOM
IN THE HUDDLE - C.J. SPILLER
IN THE HUDDLE - RILEY COOPER
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES JAMISON
IN THE HUDDLE - DESMOND GEE
IN THE HUDDLE - RICKY GARY
IN THE HUDDLE - LAURANCE MARIUS
IN THE HUDDLE - KENRICK ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - RICHARD JACKSON
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