"My junior year was kind of rough, because of injuries," said Jalen McDaniel (6'2/190). "I had a concussion earlier in the season and then sprained my ankle early in the playoffs."
However, the junior from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, N.C. learned some valuable lessons last season.
"I learned how to be a better player, handle adversity, and be a better teammate," he said.
McDaniel picked up an early scholarship offer from North Carolina State, and is hearing from several schools.
"I talk to Coach Bridge at N.C. State about every other week," he said. "Recruiting has picked up with Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Auburn. Clemson, Maryland, and Florida are still recruiting me pretty hard also. I am also hearing from South Carolina, Nebraska, and Georgia Tech."
The spring will be a busy time for the Fayetteville receiver.
"I am going to go to junior day at a few places," he said. "I am probably going to go Maryland, N.C. State, Auburn, and Virginia Tech. I also am in the process of setting up a visit to Alabama. They were my favorite team growing up."
McDaniel will be looking for certain things when he takes those visits.
"I am looking for a family-oriented school, a place that has people I can trust, great coaching, and great fans," he said.
After coming close to state title this season, McDaniel has already started to think about his senior season.
"I want to be more team-oriented," he said. "Next year is all about the team."
McDaniel attended the Simper Fidelis USMC Proving Ground Combine this past week in Phoenix, Ariz. and felt pretty good about his performance. He claims no favorites and has no timetable for a decision. The junior bench presses 285 pounds, squats 405, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds.