Georgia Recruiting: Player Profile - MJ Daniels
Out of Lucedale, Mississippi, MJ Daniels is a do it all type of player for the George County Rebels. The 2021 Athlete has played quarterback, receiver, and defensive back for his high school and he's been a difference maker at all three spots. However, the game-breaking, ball-hawking ability that Daniels possesses at defensive back is quite impressive.
The talents of Daniels have earned him offers from the following SEC schools: Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. In fact, Daniels was a commit to Ole Miss from late November of 2019 until June 1st of this year. Georgia offered Daniels back in early April and Dawgs Daily was recently able to catch up with the 4-Star to get the latest on his recruitment as a whole and his relationship with UGA.
First thing first, we asked Daniels why he decided to end his longtime commitment to Mississippi and the Lucedale native refreshingly gave a straight forward answer. "I just want to get out of Mississippi" said Daniels. Nothing wrong with seeking some new scenery.
When asked to describe the offer from Georgia and the relationship with the coaching staff, Daniels responded, "Man that’s my biggest offer so far and one of my favorites and I’ve been talking to Coach Warren and Coach Ojong." Daniels went on to describe how the coaches have pitched his fit in the system at UGA and how that could translate into opportunity early. "We've talked about how big it would be if I committed and also me having a shot at playing as a freshman. Once the restrictions are lifted they're gonna be the first school I go visit."
That visit will be important to both Daniels and Georgia. For those who don't know by now, recruiting and commitments are a two way street and the coaches, especially coaches like Kirby Smart, like to get players on campus before any big decisions are made or announced publicly. On Daniels's end, he explains, "I've heard great things about Georgia, but I have to see it with my own eyes."
I'm sure on the visit that MJ will want to check out the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA. When it comes to life after football, Daniels would like to prepare himself to become a federal game warden. Based on the conversation, we expect Daniels to take his time and a final decision may not come from him until signing day. Academics and his aspirations away from football are very important to him and will play a large role in his recruitment. However, despite wanting to do his due diligence, Daniels did indicate that it's possible he early enrolls at whatever school he ends up signing with.
Daniels is the prototypical corner for today's game. At 6'3" 185, Daniels has the length and the size to match the physicality of any receiver and his long strides help ensure that he's not going to get burned deep. Also, Daniels shows the ability to play off-man coverage very well. Off-man is a technique that Georgia defenisve backs utilize a large majority of the time, especially on inside receivers.
Daniels is able to remain in stride with a receiver mid-route and then play the ball late. For a lot of defensive backs, play the ball means to knock the pass way, or effect the receiver's ability to haul in the catch without drawing a flag. However, in Daniels case, more often than not it means picking off a pass and beginning an electrifying return. Whether it's turning to find the ball in man coverage, or sticking his foot in the ground and breaking on a pass in zone, Daniels is a ball hawk of the highest order and a true threat for six points once the ball is in his hands.
While Daniels is not one of the most widely discussed recruits on a national level, he is one that here at Dawgs Daily we feel could be special. Obviously he has a tremendous amount of God-given athleticism and the versatility that he shows even on the defensive side of the ball alone to align in different spots makes him quite appealing. In Georgia's 5 defensive back scheme it's important to have players that can fit multiple positions and Daniels certainly has the frame to be able to play some safety as well as cornerback. Undoubtedly once the Mississippi native gets into a college weight room and nutrition program, he'll pack on some good weight in a hurry.
MJ Daniels is one for the Dawg faithful to keep their eyes on, especially when that visit rolls around.
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