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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Sophomore DB David Daniel is the first elite recruit from Woodstock High School in Georgia in a generation.

Sophomore David Daniel is the first elite prospect at this Georgia program since 2005

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for an intro to a South Florida native but current Georgian David Daniel. He is the first national prospect out of Woodstock High in Cherokee County in 14 years. 

 

WOODSTOCK — When Woodstock High sophomore David Daniel picked up his 13th offer from Georgia over the weekend, it was quite the coincidence.

The South Florida native moved to Cherokee County just prior to his freshman year. When he finished his sophomore year with the Wolverines, his highlight tape went out. That was his first varsity season.

David Daniel-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
David Daniel has grown about three inches at Woodstock High. His father is 6 feet, 6 inches tall. It lends credence to the notion that he still could grow another inch or two. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The offers came back. Pretty much immediately. That offer count is now up to 15 offers since that one from UGA.

It is already at the point where this specific Metro Atlanta program has never had a player get this level of college attention after their sophomore season.

That’s a novelty. But what stood out more was how Woodstock coach Brent Budde was able to connect one specific Daniel highlight to the last Wolverine to garner a major SEC offer.

Daniel is already 6 feet and 2 inches tall. The wingspan is there. Really there.

The way he brings his pads to make a tackle is already his signature on the practice field.

Budde does not need to see a play unfold to figure out Daniel was in on a stop. That was true when he was still on the freshman team. He said he can tell just by the sound of the lick.

But the symmetry here to the last SEC recruit out of Woodstock is not that. Or even one of his two Pick-6 interceptions from his safety spot.

The common thread was found during one of his two blocked kicks.

“I remember a game against Lassiter where he blocks a punt,” Budde said. “There are a lot of good athletes out there that can block punts. But to me, it was after that which was kind of the real eye-opener. He goes and does not scoop the ball up but kind of puts his hand down and palms the ball off the ground and picks it up and starts running with it.”

Buddie’s time with the Woodstock program now spans 21 years.

“I haven’t seen a kid do that since Tripp Chandler was here and that’s kind of a different athlete when you see that stuff,” he said.

Chandler was the last elite recruit to come out of the program. The 3-star TE signed with UGA in 2005. The head coach is not the only coach on the Woodstock staff who will bring up that play.

“It was really when he started to make those plays on special teams that he really opened our eyes,” Woodstock assistant Tom Sheehan said. “It wasn’t a big game that didn’t mean a whole heck of a lot but our kids play hard all the time no matter the situation. David blocks a punt and picks it up by palming the ball with one hand to score. That right there was I think that ‘David is the player we thought he was’ game for us.”

Daniel had a Pick-6 in his first varsity start. He went on to tally 76 tackles and three interceptions in 2018. But he’s got the frame and length that add to his youth. That is what has clearly garnered all these offers.

It is the blend of the plays being made PLUS the frame of the young player that is responsible for them.

His 2018 reel has enough depth to include a specific set of highlights on special teams alone. This 10th-grader with a 3.6 grade-point average doesn’t even have a star rating, but he already has 15 major college offers and a Hudl film of just special teams clips.

In the clip where he palmed that ball, he is on the move. But he doesn’t have to clear the hips and stoop to scoop it. He’s able to bend the hips while he is running and send his arm to the ground to palm it.

That’s hand-eye coordination. It is also being blessed with huge hands, ball skills and the requisite athletic ability to get into position to make that play.

“You don’t see that every day,” Buddie said. “I specifically remember Tripp [Chandler] doing that on a play.”

Coincidence? Yes. Time will tell if turns out to be ironic and makes the same choice Chandler did to play for UGA.

David Daniel emerges as a major college prospect

Woodstock is not a football desert. The Wolverines sent one of their own to Illinois in the same cycle that Chandler chose Georgia. There have also been recruits here and there to wind up at a Middle Tennessee, an N.C. State and even at UCF.

But Daniel is something else entirely. Bluebloods like Florida, FSU, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin have already all offered. Georgia was his 13th offer, but he’s also picked up at least two more since last weekend.

David Daniel-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
David Daniel just finished his first season of varsity football at Woodstock High School in Cherokee County. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“I’m kind of wide open,” Daniel said. “I’ve always been a Miami fan. Born and raised like only seeing that color but I’ve definitely opened up to other colleges.”

He does not plan to make a college decision until before the start of his senior year. At least for now.

Daniel called the Bulldogs “a good school” and was grateful they offered him.

He would be the first member of his family to graduate from college.

What would he like to study in school?

“Sports medicine,” he said. “I want to stay close to football.”

There will be speculation about his best position fit. If he winds up around 200 pounds, he will likely be a safety. That is the familiar position for him right now and where he feels the most comfortable.

For now, he has the ability to be considered a prospect at corner or safety.

“I definitely think I could do both,” he said. “But I prefer safety.”

He got the chance to work all week at cornerback in practice back in December for the Georgia Elite Classic. He showed he could play there, too.

Daniel plans to take a trip back to the Sunshine State this month to visit both Florida and Florida State. He will check out at least those two programs two weeks from now.

“It is exciting,” Daniel said. “I am trying for it not to overwhelm me. But I’m definitely grateful for what is going on.”

Clemson has not offered, but they are in heavy contact with the Woodstock staff. That is an offer Daniel would like to collect before he will decide among his options.

“Alabama, Clemson and probably Ohio State,” said Daniel, when answering a question about offers that he still wants to work to attain.

What is he looking for in a college fit? He made it seem rather simple.

  • Strong educational opportunity
  • Connection to the coaching staff
  • A coaching staff that builds a relationship with his family

The need to know for right now on David Daniel

His first two offers also serve to frame up his recruiting outlook fairly well.

Was Duke the first? Or was it LSU? Daniel believes it was LSU, but those offers came pretty much back-to-back last November.

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David Daniel now has 15 major college scholarship offers. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Those options span what he offers the world of big-time college football. LSU carries the rep as “DBU” in scouting circles. The Tigers only offer a DB this early when they really see something.

Duke is also here, though. That’s a testament to the work Daniel has already done in the classroom. He carries a 3.6 grade-point average at this time.

There is also a character component to consider here.

“My favorite David [Daniel] story right now is after all of these offers it is something that has nothing to do with his playing ability,” Budde said. “It speaks to how the young man is and what kind of character he has. These offers come and he continues to do what’s right and be a great teammate and he uses his new platform to help promote his teammates on social media. I’m sure he’s getting a lot more followers now that he’s gotten these offers and he’s using that to promote his teammates.”

These are not simple retweets, but endorsements. Daniel will share his comments of what his fellow Wolverines can do on the field.

That’s another thing the staff didn’t teach him to do. It comes as naturally as palming a blocked punt.

“He’s getting this attention but he’s staying humble and is still all about his teammates, too,” Budde said.

Todd Hartley comes out of the gate like Mecole for UGA

New tight ends coach Todd Hartley wasted little time hitting the road for Kirby Smart. He was officially hired officially on Monday. The UGA grad was out on the road with new major TE target Brett Seither later that night.

Seither rates as the nation’s No. 43 TE prospect for the 2019 class. The 3-star recruit was offered by Georgia on January 10 and even Alabama on January 11. He is seen by many as the top remaining unsigned TE prospect in the nation for this class.

Georgia assistant coach Dell McGee was in to see him on Jan. 11. Hartley was the second Bulldog assistant in four days to check on him after that offer.

That’s quite a push for a 3-star prospect. But the film shows Seither can do it.

What could he do in Athens? I’ll add the opinion of the all-time leading receiver in UGA history to that discussion.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.