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SI All-American Candidate Eric McDaniels Highlights and Evaluation

Eric McDaniels is a running back prospect from Hopewell High School in Hopewell, Va. McDaniels is an SI All-American candidate.

Prospect: Eric McDaniels
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot, 225 pounds
School: Hopewell (Va.)  
Position: Running Back
Schools of Interest: West Virginia, Boston College, NC State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida, Duke, Michigan State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Indiana, Maryland and Syracuse
Projected Position: Running Back

Frame: Powerful and compact. Broad shoulders, wide chest and thick waist. Big thighs and trunk, with tightly-wound calves. Room for more mass, but emphasis will be lean muscle. 

Athleticism: Powerful. Exceptional balance through contact; shrugs off would-be tacklers. Above-average short-area quickness for size. Lacks long speed and acceleration. Impressive overall coordination. 

Instincts: Seeks out physicality. Refuses to go down on first contact. Plows through defenders by lowering shoulder. Decisive, one-cut runner. Most comfortable between tackles; often struggles to turn corner. 

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Polish: Good footwork in backfield and at exchange. Occasionally loses base. Pass-catching ability unknown. Little film as pass protector, but tools and disposition to thrive there down the line.

Bottom Line: McDaniels is among the biggest ball-carriers in the Class of 2021. His natural size, strength and vision suit him well between the tackles, where he’s a terror for smaller defenders to bring down. Must keep weight gain in check. Lacks high ceiling, but should be valuable member of backfield committee at next level, shining in short-yardage situations.