Jacob Daniel, one of the premier talents in the Class of 2015, has finally decided where he will play his college ball. The 4-star defensive tackle recruit will reportedly suit up for the USC Trojans.
Justin Hopkins of 247Sports reported the news:
Head coach Steve Sarkisian did a solid job recruiting the Clovis, Calif. native and beat out a number of suitors from across the nation. As per 247Sports, the defensive tackle received offers from prestigious programs such as Oregon, Texas A&M, Washington, Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami, Ohio State and more.
It’s not surprising that so many recruiters threw their hat in the ring and attempted to persuade Daniel to join their programs. The 6’4”, 310-pound tackle is widely regarded as one of the best talents at his position in this class, as he was ranked the No. 8 DT and No. 53 overall prospect on 247Sports’ composite rankings.
On top of his height and massive frame, Daniel possesses a number of key attributes that will make him a great run-stuffer and even part-time pass-rusher at the collegiate level. He’s explosive, especially when he times the snap count right, and comes out firing at a low pad level.
Daniel excels at the bull rush to collapse the pocket, but also has lateral movement speed that allows him to maneuver between the tackles. That sort of versatility should help him get on the field quickly, especially if the defensive-line depth starts to dwindle.
While he tends to get tangled up in blocks and must improve his ability to separate from his man, the raw potential for Daniel to be a consistent contributor is readily present. His ceiling is high and once he is on a regular weight-training program and getting coached up at USC, Daniel should start showing rapid improvement.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that this young man isn’t the most polished prospect in coach Sarkisian's crop of talent, as Daniel did not start playing football until high school and is a late bloomer.
According to an interview with Erik McKinney of ESPN (subscription required), Daniel revealed he enjoyed basketball more and wasn’t a big fan of football until one game changed his opinion:
We were playing Clovis High and we were undefeated. There were about 5,000 people in the stands and there was all that noise. I thought, 'Wow, this is fun.' That sealed the deal for me with football.
Trojans fans will be cheering him on soon enough and this young man should be a fixture on USC's defensive line for the foreseeable future.