2014 Preview Questions: Is Steven Daniels the best player on Defense?
With all the "Dude" talk and Heisman hype, no one really mentioned that Steven Daniels had a great season. He was active. He was versatile and he was our best tackler. When Daniels got near someone he brought them down. When watching the games back, rarely did he miss a tackler and no one shook him off. He finished the year with 88 tackles (3rd best on the team). This season -- with so few impact players returning on defense -- might be Daniels' time to shine. He will either get swallowed up by the void left in the linebacking corp or take over and dominate.
Daniels' road to the Heights was lined with a few pot holes. He was supposed to be the next great St. X recruit. However, he spent a year Worcester shoring up his academics. Meanwhile the greatest St. X-BC player in school history, Luke Kuechly, was rewriting the record book at Daniels' position of Linebacker. Could anyone fill Kuechly's shoes? Daniels first season was okay but didn't project for his explosion as a sophomore. Last year he finally showed glimpses that he could live up to the St. X legacy.
I don't know how Brown will use Daniels this year. Daniels has enough speed to be used more often in blitz packages. But he can also be used to cover the space left open by other guys rushing. Either way I think he's going to be a difference maker.