Heading into this weekend’s visit, Clemson was on level footing with about 10 other teams on Elijah Daniel’s leaderboard. By the end of his visit, though, the Tigers landed a second ESPN 150 defensive end in less than a week.
“I was interested in them obviously. They were on the same level as all the other teams,” Daniel said en route back to Avon, Ind. “I had visited those other schools I was looking at other than Clemson.
“They answered a lot of the questions I had that other schools didn’t answer and showed me some stuff other schools didn’t.”
A major question the four-star Daniel had for coaches is whether he would have an opportunity to play early. He said the other programs did not provide much of a chance to see the field as a freshman.
“Who they have there and who did they sign last year?” Daniel said were two of the bigger questions he had. “(Clemson) didn’t really have no defensive ends and stuff like that unlike all the other schools recruiting me at that position; they had people coming. I felt like it was a great an opportunity to come and contribute early.”
The nation’s No. 1 player, Robert Nkemdiche, committed to Clemson on Thursday, due in large part to defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Daniel, the nation’s sixth-best defensive end and 85th-best overall, also credited Venables as a key reason for his commitment. The two began talking in March.
“It’s a really good relationship. He’s a real good dude,” Daniel said. “I have a good relationship with my defensive end coach [Marion Hobby], too.”
Nkemdiche’s commitment had no factor in Daniel’s, however.
Daniel has visited a number of programs over the last year, and said at this time he does not plan to make any more visits. That could change, though.
“You never know what can happen,” he said.