Mykelle McDaniel has a new leader and says he already knows where he’ll play college football.
McDaniel, a 3-star defensive end from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) told SEC Country two months ago that Florida was his leader. The Gators have now dropped two spots on his list. But apparently his list doesn’t matter too much because he knows where he’ll play come next football season.
“To be honest with you, I know where I’m going already,” McDaniel said. “I’m just going to hold it out and keep it a secret,” he laughed. “But the top four right now is South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida and Tennessee. That is in order.”
Grayson is the home of Ole Miss defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who was the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in 2013. Nkemdiche is expected to declare for the NFL draft at the end of this season and is likely to be a top-five pick.
Whichever school lands McDaniel must be hoping that he turns out to be the next gem from Grayson.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder went in-depth on why the schools he listed above are in his top four. Check out his answers below:
On South Carolina being his No. 1 school: “Playing time is a huge factor for me. I just want to play. I know it’s wide open there. A coach can’t guarantee that I will get to play from the jump, but if I like my chances to beat someone out, then I will go with that.”
On his relationship with South Carolina Coach Shawn Elliott: “It’s so-so. We don’t really communicate that much. I’m just going to wait it out. One reason why I am waiting it out is to see what’s going to go down with the coaching staff. They don’t know if they are going to have a job right now, and that would obviously affect me, too.”
On Nebraska: “Playing time is another reason why Nebraska is on my list. One of my best friends (former Grayson linebacker) Mohamed Barry plays for them right now. He has told me nothing but great things. He told me that I am going to have to work hard. I know I’m going to have to work hard anywhere. I’m ready for it.”
On Florida: “I like their defense. I like how those guys attack the ball. I have a great relationship with (defensive coordinator Geoff) Collins. He’s been telling me just to stay clean and be well.”
On Tennessee: “I like them a lot. With them, it’s more so what I like off the field. The stuff they put around you – the equipment and the facilities. I feel like if you can’t be successful at Tennessee, there’s probably something wrong with you. I also love Coach (Butch) Jones. He’s the kind of coach that is going to stay on you, and I feel like I need that.”
He will take official visits to all four schools. He may use his fifth visit for Mississippi State but isn’t 100 percent sure as of now.
McDaniel is the state of Georgia’s No. 43 overall prospect and is the nation’s No. 23 strong-side defensive end.