football

McDaniel taking careful approach

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Danzel McDaniel's speech is muffled and words inch off his tongue without much pace. He's not exactly what one would call "excitable." To him, this recruiting process is 100-percent business. The six scholarship offers he holds are being carefully examined.
The Dodge City (Kan.) Community College cornerback is taking a workman like approach. McDaniel is focused, not giddy. He's methodical, not overwhelmed. And as for his feelings? He's keeping those to himself.
"I'm not really ready to name a top three or anything like that," he said on Monday. "I don't even know yet. My mind isn't made up."
One of the few things he doesn't mind discussing is the destination for his next campus visit. McDaniel intends to make it to Kansas State "sometime in October." The date is still be finalized. The rest of his visits will need to wait until after the season. His ability to take a trip to Manhattan before that is a matter of convenience.
"I got the visit coming up to K-State sometime in October because it's the closest one. I can get up there real quick." McDaniel said. "But really, I like the coaches there and the program. I like the school environment, too."
Asked what he's looking for in a school, McDaniel, a Chicago product, begins to talk about a college that "feels like home." The school involved in his recruitment closest to his actual home is Illinois. It's hard to infer how much of a player the Illini will be going forward, but the home-state program does have its appeal.
"The Illinois offer, it's alright," McDaniel said. "It's Big 10, you know? It's right by home. My family could come down and watch. It's just a little more than two hours."
Then there are the outliers. McDaniel says he sees himself as an "SEC-type player". He's yet to land an offer from any of the conference's member schools but thinks that may chance soon. Auburn has been in recent contact. As has Georgia. How things shake out in the South may impact the process significantly.
"I believe I have a few SEC offers coming," McDaniel said. "Alabama talked to me after the bowl game last year. They just want to see how the grades go. The SEC is the best conference, so I'd really like to play in that conference."
McDaniel says he remains on pace to graduate from Dodge City in December. He has not set a timetable for a commitment.
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