Profile: Jacob Daniel
Position: Defensive Lineman
Location: Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North
Weight: 300 pounds
Recruiting: Daniel has been a big USC lean for months and this one was all but over the second the Trojans offered. Remember, Daniel originally committed to Coach Sarkisian when he was at Washington last November. When Sark and the rest of the staff came over to USC, Daniel immediately became a massive Trojan lean and visited the campus multiple times. He took a visit to Oregon two weeks ago and loved it and narrowed his choices to the Trojans and Ducks. After thinking things over this past weekend, Daniel decided he was ready to pull the trigger and announced for the Trojans.
What to Like: Daniel is a massive kid who looks even bigger than his listed HT/WT of 6-foot-4, 300 pounds. He's a wide body, very strong and tough to move in the trenches. He can take on a double team and stand his ground and gets a nice push in the pocket. He has strong hands and can disengage from blockers and has enough lateral mobility to make a quick inside move and get around an opposing center/guard. He projects as an ideal nose guard in a 3-4 or can play as a three-tech in a 4-3 scheme. He's a tough kid, who works hard off the field and once he locks himself in a college weight room and continues to improve his overall athleticism, the sky is the limit.
What may be of concern: Daniel tore his ACL last October and has spent the spring recovering. The hope for the big man is when he comes back, he'll be 100% and won't suffer any lingering affects. He needs to keep improving his overall athleticism and quickness of the ball as well as his motor. When Daniel wants to, he can be dominating but that motor isn't always going full throttle. That shouldn't be a problem down the road as college coaches have a way of motivating their players and USC DL coach Chris Wilson is one of the best and he'll max out his talent. If he can improve his get off and add a little more quickness, he has a chance to be dominant at the next level.
Overall Analysis: Daniel is a very nice pickup for the Trojans and fills a big need along the interior of the defensive line. At the same stage in his career, he reminds us a little of former Trojan lineman George Uko in terms of his size and playing style. You can never have too many tackles and Daniel is one of the best with a high ceiling if he can put it all together down the road. The knee is something worth monitoring but he's expected to start linear running soon and should be 100% by the fall. He's a very good kid who wants to be good and is a natural leader on and off the field. Coming on the heals of landing a commitment from offensive tackle Roy Hemsley a week ago, the Trojans are off to a very good start to what should be a loaded 2015 class.