Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet for Wednesday calls for a glimpse into the life and times of junior college cornerback prospect DJ Daniel. He picked up his offer from UGA over the weekend.
DJ Daniel was a Class of 2017 prospect coming out of Spalding High School in Griffin, Ga. The cornerback had all the tools back then to smother 4-star and 5-star receivers.
But his story now arcs between what took place between two meetings. The first was with his mother Amanda Mangham and Spalding coach Nick Davis. The second was with the coach of the defending SEC champions not quite two years later.
Daniel, 19, describes that day with Davis as one of the toughest of his life.
“We sat down and had a talk with Coach Davis,” Daniel said. “He was just telling my mom we had to go the JUCO route. He said we still have a chance, but that was what we had to do. That was the day where I can say that we were all the most down. My mom was crying. She was disappointed in me. I knew I was better than that.
“I told myself that my hunger for the game had to go up even more. All that I ever want is for my mother to smile. She doesn’t care what I do as long as I am successful at what I do. She just wants me to give it my all and to the best of my ability. I wasn’t doing that in the classroom and earning my chance to play college football.”
His mother also was there for that second meeting. It took place on Sunday. Mangham was present to hear Kirby Smart tell the Georgia Military College sophomore that he had an offer to play in Athens.
Junior college cornerback DJ Daniel now has an offer from UGA. (Courtesy photo)
“What do I think was my happiest day over the last two years?” Daniel said. “I think that was just getting the Georgia offer. That was when I saw my mom when it looked like she was the happiest. Don’t get me wrong. She was really happy after all of my offers, but I think that me getting that Georgia offer really made her proud. It really made her proud.”
He said he hadn’t seen his mother that happy for him since the day he graduated from Spalding in 2017.
Daniel is on track to graduate from Georgia Military College in December and race to his next team in January. He told DawgNation he will have two years to play two seasons at his future school.
South Carolina was his first SEC offer. That was the one that showed him his path to Saturdays through the junior college route was going to work out.
Look for him to make his decision prior to his 2018 season. He said he will take his five official visits.
There are probably up to about seven schools in contention for those options.
Where will the Bulldogs stand in that process? That’s the next block of the Davis Daniel Jr. story to discuss.
How does DJ Daniel feel about Georgia?
Daniel said he knows what he did with his life between those two meetings with Davis and Smart is what really matters. The 6-foot, 185-pound prospect didn’t have the transcript to sign with a top program coming out of high school.
“I just didn’t have the grades,” Daniel said. “I wasn’t focused early in high school. It really taught me how to be humble. It really taught me how to stay [true] to myself. Something that GMC really showed me was that every action has a reaction.”
If he had the grades coming out of high school, he probably would have signed with UGA.
“Just coming out of high school and not really knowing much, I would probably say Georgia would have been my choice,” he said. “Being that I’m from Georgia. Everybody from Griffin in my hometown they look up to UGA and everything that they do. It is just a Georgia way for a lot of folks.”
How does he feel about that now?
“I look at it not really in a different way,” he said. “I still like Georgia. My family really loves Georgia. I’m just weighing all my options. That’s why I say that Georgia would probably have been the No. 1 for me coming out of high school. I didn’t want anything else but Georgia, but that was when I did not take the time to weigh out all my options like I will now.”
Where does that offer now fit in with his options?
“Oh, it will most definitely fit in,” Daniel said. “This offer from Georgia really means a lot. It really did. My family was proud but they never want me to quit pushing and let up with this hunger that I have for the game. I will never settle, and now I will just see how it all plays out.”
Daniel said he realizes that everything in his life happens for a reason. It has shaped him, but he now has almost 20 offers to sort out.
It sounds like he will have a few schools close to his heart. He didn’t say this, but I do gather the fact that South Carolina came with that first SEC offer always will mean something to him.
And then there will be what sounds like a strong home-state tug to UGA, too.
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