I don’t like to jump too far ahead where recruiting matters are concerned. I tend to look at prospects, who are set to sign, during the current recruiting season. That’s why you won’t normally see to many articles here about guys like Jacob Eason or Ben Cleveland (both of whom are committed to the 2016 class and both of whom look to be ‘Top 10′ prospects in that class).
The reason for that decision is simple: it’s tough enough wondering if a guy from the current class will sign without worrying about guys who are still underclassmen in high school. That said, 2016 running back prospect JaQua Daniels (Athens, GA) is a local boy—I live in the Athens area, so he’s from “around the way”, if you will—so, in his case, I figured I’d make an exception.
Daniels, by his own admission, is high on Georgia and could be close to making an early commitment:
“I talk to the them (UGA) a lot,” he said. “I talk to coach B-Mac (Bryan McClendon). Whenever I call him we talk for awhile. We keep in contact a lot.”
…“I’m going to commit soon,” Daniels said. “Probably the next time I go up there (to Georgia). I’m close.” (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
Daniels isn’t a burner, but he does a better than average job of finding holes and punching through them, or using the outside lanes to create space and find a second gear (a gear that is quicker than you’d think come game time).
That said, he doesn’t have the best hands and he relies heavily on size and strength to power through holes and make plays; and while his lack of speed is something that does work against him, in some cases, he is a player with good balance, good vision, and good instincts with the football. He’s tough to take down once he gets moving and he can pick up plenty of yards after contact once he gets a head of steam.
He may not have the flash or dash of a Keith Marshall, Sony Michel, or Nick Chubb, but his ceiling is high, there’s room for growth, and given the right coaching—assuming running backs coach Bryan McClendon is around a bit longer, he definitely qualifies—Daniels could develop into a solid player down the line.