Clemson, led by Da'Quan Bowers, and USF each have something to play for in Friday's Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Tigers (6-6) want to avoid having their first losing season since 1998, while the Bulls (7-5) look to reach eight victories for the fifth straight season. [details]
Notes: Has a son. Also played basketball as a Florida prep. Failed to qualify academically and spent 2006 at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) where he made 48 tackles and four interceptions. Joined the Tigers in the spring of '07 and overslept for his first practice with the team. In the fall, backed up as the "Cat" safety and was inserted in the nickel package, appearing in all 13 games and recording 33 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions with four tackles for loss. Was arrested in June '08 on charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a misdemeanor, following an argument with his girlfriend at the time. According to the incident report, the victim accused McDaniel of covering her head with a comforter and choking her, hitting her and later throwing her down a flight of stairs. However, witnesses refuted the victim's story, saying she looked normal and smiling as though nothing had happened upon leaving the apartment complex where the argument occurred. Ultimately, McDaniels participated in a pretrial intervention program - endorsed by law enforcement and the victim - that wiped his record clean by virtue of his status as a first-time offender. Moved to strong-side linebacker in '08 and started 8-of-13 games, tallying 77-6-1 with four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Eleven of his stops came on special teams. In '09, led the Atlantic Coast Conference in interceptions and was the Tigers' Defensive MVP after starting all 14 games at strong safety for new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Registered 102-2-8 with five tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. Started all 13 games at strong safety in '10 despite breaking the scaphoid bone in his right wrist against Auburn - logged 84-6-4 with 5Ĺ tackles for loss. Team captain.
Positives: Very good size. Athletic mover with very good body control. Excellent frontal ball skills - productive interceptor with soft hands and ability to highpoint the football. Effective robbing the hole. Effective zone defender - anticipates and shows short-area burst to jump routes. Flashes ability to uncoil and strike. Stood out on kickoff coverage.
Negatives: Average speed. Tight-hipped - does not redirect smoothly. Pile inspector who turns down contact. Slow to disengage and gets bounced around in the box and does not like to run the alley. Inconsistent tackler - misses too many and struggles to break down in space. Questionable run fits and bad pursuit angles. Does not have deep range to play over the top and struggles with his back to the ball. Character and maturity should be evaluated closely.
Summary: Enigmatic, finesse zone-cover man and flash playmaker with a nose for the ball, though his selective physicality, questionable compete level and average instincts leave evaluators wanting more. Is most comfortable moving forward and is an adept "robber" but is not equipped to bang in the box and lacks range to play center field. Will contribute on special teams and offers versatility as a nickel linebacker, but character concerns could knock him off some draft boards.