Junior to Watch: Brandon Daniel
School: Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely High School
Position: Defensive End
Size and speed: Daniel is 6-foot-4, weighs 250 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded 65 tackles and 11 sacks.
Honors: Was selected second-team All-Broward County.
Favorite Schools: Miami, Florida State, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Auburn.
Skinny: One of the Sunshine State’s top prospects for 2004 didn’t begin the previous season that way.
Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely’s Brandon Daniel was a relatively unknown player before establishing himself as a dominant force late in his junior year.
“He just kept growing, kept getting stronger and kept improving,” said Ely coach Steven Davis. “He went from around 225 pounds to 250 pounds, and by the end of the season, he was averaging two or three sacks a game. He had a real good game for us in the championship.”
Daniel delivered six tackles and two sacks in the Tigers’ 22-10 victory over Wharton in the Class 5A state championship game. That should give him plenty of momentum heading into his senior season.
“The big thing people are going to see with Brandon is how explosive he is off the ball and his ability to get to the passer,” Davis said. “His pass-rushing skills are what everyone is looking for in a defensive end, and he’s really getting better against the run as he’s added some weight and muscle.”
It’s still early in the process for a rising star like Daniel, but he’s drawing attention from all of Florida’s top programs, as well as schools like LSU, Auburn, Georgia and N.C. State.
Daniel plans to attend the Nike combine at Miami, but his summer plans are not set.