Thursday, April 11, 2013
Q&A: Coach of 2014 WR Byron Daniels
By Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma has its eyes on landing a receiver from San Antonio (Texas) Madison for the second straight recruiting cycle.
Just months after signing Dannon Cavil, the Sooners are in hot pursuit of Byron Daniels, who holds several offers including Oklahoma State and Nebraska. Madison coach Jim Streety spoke with SoonerNation about Daniels' ability, potential college position and Cavil's potential impact on his recruitment.
SoonerNation: When did you realize Byron would be a special player?
San Antonio receiver Byron Daniels will be in Norman this weekend for Oklahoma's spring game.
Jim Streety: When he was in our middle school feeder program, particularly eighth grade. That's when we really start watching those guys and he was just a standout as a eighth grader. And he hasn't disappointed at this level.
SN: At what point did you realize he would be productive, not just have potential?
Streety: Probably two springs ago during the spring of his freshman year. He made two plays, one in our spring game, that you just don't see guys making those plays, yet alone freshmen. We knew at that point he would be one of our guys, then, of course, he was our leading receiver that next year as a sophomore. He followed it up this year with another great year. We probably haven't given him enough opportunities to touch the ball, we're a running football team. We've played 29 games in the last two years including nine playoff games and we've had two really good running backs the last two years. This year he's going to get the chance to touch the ball more and we're real excited about that.
SN: What is the biggest thing that will help him succeed at the next level?
Streety: Great speed and athleticism.
SN: What does he need to work on?
Streety: He's not a big guy (6-foot-1, 168 pounds). He's not little but he's not a big guy so he'll have to continue to develop his strength. He's had a productive offseason this year so he'll have to continue to develop that strength so he can be more physical because things are going to be a lot different at the next level.
SN: How will playing in your program help him make the transition?
Streety: I think it will because we play a really tough schedule and the last two years we've had deep playoff runs. That will prepare him well just like Cavil, I think he was well-prepared coming out of our program. I think we do a good job with our guys. Guys like Dannon and Byron, if they played a wide-open spread offense, they'd catch 75 or 80 balls a season. We're more of a running team so they didn't have as many opporuntities to catch balls although next year Byron will have more opportunities because we lost all of our running backs and have our quarterback back.
SN: Where does he rank in terms of his competitive nature?
Streety: He's up there. We've got guys at OSU, TCU, Nebraska, Texas Tech and he's right up there with all of those guys. He's as athletic as any of them.
SN: How important is football to him?
Streety: I think it's important to him. He's a heckuva basketball player and he gave up playing basketball to concentrate on football. You don't see that happen very often.
SN: Sounds like he understood where his long-term future might be.
Streety: Yeah, like I said he's not a big guy but he's a great leaper and trust me he could be a fantastic high school basketball player. I hope he goes back out for the team in his senior year.
SN: What would be the best offensive system for him? Would he be a good slot guy?
Streety: That's what everybody seems to like him as. We're going to use him that way some and he's going to be a jet sweep guy for us which he hasn't done yet because we had other guys. He's a tremendous kick returner and he handles himself unbelievably well as a kick returner.
SN: How's he been handling the process thus far?
Streety: I think he's handled it well. Byron is a real quiet kid. You don't ever here much out of Byron so it's hard to say but I haven't heard much out of him about it, one way or the other.
SN: Which schools have been recruiting him the hardest?
Streety: It's hard to say. He has offers -- and I know Texas A&M with Coach [Kliff] Kingsbury started the process last year when he was at A&M and he's at Tech now and is recruiting him hard and they have offered him. And it's [my] understanding A&M will continue to recruit him hard. Byron just doesn't talk about it, to be real honest with you. He visited Baylor so I know they'll be on him real hard.
SN: How will having Dannon on campus at OU impact his decision at all?
Streety: I think anything like that will help especially a guy like him who is quiet and shy, a familiar face will be an asset.