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Jacob Daniel recruit scouting report: Talented defensive tackle

Jacob Daniel
Jacob Daniel
Student Sports

Seven defensive tackles earned 5-star ratings on the February 2014 247sports composite. Just behind them is Clovis (Calif.) North's Jacob Daniel, who could join that elite club himself before long. The eighth-ranked defensive tackle in the 2015 class and a consensus top 10 recruit in his home state of California, the 6'4, 310-pound Daniel is already one of the most coveted players of the next recruiting cycle.

Some debate exists as to where Daniel's talent ranks nationally, however -- 247sports places Daniel as high as 27th among all players in 2015, while Rivals slots him quite a bit lower at 83rd overall.

Daniel's 22 early offers include ones from in-state schools like USC, Stanford, Fresno State, and California, but his profile is quickly rising among other big-name programs, as well. Alabama, Miami, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are among those looking to pull Daniel away from the Golden State.

Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst (@yssd): Daniel is one the best defensive tackles on the West Coast. He'll probably be put through a certain degree of reshaping once he gets into a collegiate strength and conditioning program. He should eventually be able to top out in the 310-315 pound range.

Daniel primarily plays the one-technique (or nose tackle) position for his high school team. On tape, he does spend a few snaps lined up as a three-technique defensive tackle. He has the baseline skill set to play both of those positions in a 4-3 defense, or even as a one gap nose tackle in a 3-4.

Daniel has good first-step quickness off the ball. He doesn't always gain max arm extension when initiating contact, but that is mitigated somewhat by his powerful and explosive hands.

Daniel coils up into a tight stance before the snap with his back parallel to the line of scrimmage. However, he comes up off the ball too high a little too often. This gives opposing linemen a big target area. He needs to protect himself better against cut blocks, as well.

When Daniel maintains proper leverage coming off the ball and brings his hips through contact he is a bear to control. He carries significant upside as a pass rusher due to his superb finishing burst and overall awareness.

Inside, Daniel likes to use a quick swim move and ‘get skinny' to slide through gaps. He converts speed to power well and drives interior offensive linemen back almost on contact. Once he disengages from linemen, he could improve at sinking his hips when wrapping up ball carriers to better limit the yards after contact that sometimes occur on tape.

Daniel tracks the ball well, and has the lateral mobility to make plays all over and outside the box. Overall, he profiles as a penetrating defensive tackle with playmaking upside with whichever school he signs.

Unless he signs with a school with a major surplus of talent at the position, Daniel has the size to avoid a redshirt. He has the upside and ceiling of a multi-year starter and all-conference performer with legitimate NFL potential.