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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
(Beggs High School)
1 INT RET FOR TD
642 RECEIVIN YARDS
3 INTs RET FOR TD
High powered Oklahoma-born safety Kendal Daniels is free from the shackles of Texas A&M, his letter of intent being nullified and the 4 star versatile safety is now on the move, and guess who are his top 3 schools??
OKLAHOMA....no wondering there...OKLAHOMA STATE...and LSU aka DBU.
While LSU's staff made sure the 2021 class "took care of business" at the safety spot, thanks to the likes of 5 Star Louisiana Legend Sage Ryan, 4 Star Pennsylvania-native Derrick Davis Jr or another local Tiger-in-the-making (exquisite safety / running back combo) Matthew Langlois, the Tigers should never sleep on grabbing a great player, no matter who they are, where they're from or when LSU is getting them.
Straight up, if LSU can add the skyscraping 6 foot 4 inch tall freshman from their SEC West rival, it would be an interesting capture...but would he be necessary?
I see Kendal Daniels maximizing his potential at LSU thanks to his excellent frame, ridiculous hops and robust physicality which makes him a tough ride when jamming at the line; though only weighing 190, Kendal is weighty enough...but let's stop ourselves right there...his game is far more than the eye catching height:
His anticipatory skills are incredible, attacking the screen game pre or post-snap by rushing up to the line with otherworldly timing, his long arms reaching in and gathering the football out of the air, taking interceptions into the end zone for touchdowns. While you'd look at his sub-200 weight and argue Daniels wouldn't hold his own against the run, Kendal is often blasting and stopping opponents in their tracks.
Still, the Beggs-native needs to beefen up a bit and under LSU's Strength & Conditioning impresario Tommy Moffitt, he can find the best way to approach his new thickness.
Or what about his deep ball ability? This is a young man who's sheer coverage skills (combined alongside his statuesque height) enables Kendal to pull off crazy one handed interceptions on passes over his head.
During one of these plays, Daniels backpedals, reads the play immediately and anticipates the throw while facing the quarterback the entire time. As the above-average pass sails above his head, Daniels reels his arm back, reaches up and takes the ball out of the air with a single hand, before racing 30 yards for a touchdown.
So....with the home-state Oklahoma teams cast as the favorites from the start, I asked:
LSU ARE SERIOUSLY PURSUING KENDAL DANIELS, RIGHT???
We received a big fat "yes" in response, our source saying:
"The staff love the kid's talents, not just his size but how he uses that size."
He moves like a 5'10 guy ...but when quarterbacks throw the ball anywhere near his vicinity, Kendal Daniels is often the one coming down with it, posting 10 interceptions in the last two seasons (6 during 2019 alone).
Adding to his impressive resume? Returning 4 of those picks for touchdowns, 100+ tackles across his last two seasons (237 combined total tackles) and adding a new backfield-affecting flair to his game, just as I felt watching his tape.
For Beggs' 2019 season, Daniels was mostly a coverage guy, posting 0 TFLs and 0 sacks as a by-product of where the team needed him most; However new dimensions to his burgeoning talents came to life this past year, and when allowed to attack the backfield, Kendal became a decisive leverage artist and TFL merchant, ripping off 14 TFLs and 6 sacks to go with his excellent duties in coverage.
In a weird way, Daniels' talents reminded me of "Ali Gaye if Ali Gaye played safety", displaying such towering height for his position. His tackling approach, capability to cause havoc around the backfield and the manner in which his length affects the pass all contribute to thoughts of Gaye, a random thought that may not translate but I had to throw it out there.
If he chose LSU, would the Tigers turn him into a full time receiver?
This past year, Daniels ripped in 10 receiving touchdowns to go with his 4 INTs, adding 642 yards from 56 catches.
Would the Tigers deploy him as a "can't throw over or around me" free safety?
Possessing juicy pace at 6'4 is a scary combination for any quarterback to try and toss the ball around, especially when he has sideline to sideline range & reach...a scary prospect for anyone facing Daniels if he fulfills his potential at the next level...
Could he be an all around wrecking crew? Capable of flying up from the secondary to the line of scrimmage, blowing up plays in the backfield, even sacking quarterbacks?
If he thickened up to 230 or more, could Daniels transform into an outside linebacker?
See what I mean...lots of possibility...
I've been told LSU wants him to play as a backfield attacking / coverage-assisting nickel destroyer in both coverage and in the running game.
While he may not be a "must-have" in the eyes of many Tigers fans, he's an incredible athlete capable of developing into an intriguing prospect at safety, linebacker, receiver maybe even cornerback.... with the world at his fingertips.
Should LSU use the final 2021 scholarship spot?
I don't know about you, but I feel either LSU's 2021 or 2022 class have the players necessary to win the Tigers another National Championship....perhaps both do....so...each and every spot is incredibly important, with the fallout effects rippling towards the next scholarship-reduced season...
What would you do?
Save the scholarship for 2022 or.... target another player in the transfer portal, i.e Kendal Daniels or another offensive lineman???
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
VERDICT: 55/45 TO LSU although do NOT discount the Oklahoma schools and the allure of staying home. LSU is comin' in hard though.
SHOUTOUTS: Marty Bergeron is the man! Elie is a legend, A.D is A Great Friend, a King & a diamond