The 90 Illini #80: Hayden Daniels June 13, 2012
6′-4″, 180 lbs.
rs-Freshman (on scholarship, 4 years to play 4)
Naperville Central HS / Naperville, IL
ALE Ranking last year: NR
What I Know About Him:
Daniels originally committed as a grayshirt – he was going to walk on as a freshman and then earn a scholarship in the 2012 class – but I believe he earned a scholarship last fall after several rides opened up. He redshirted, so he’ll enter this fall as a freshman.
His brother, Owen Daniels, played at Wisconsin and is now a tight end with the Houston Whitney Merciluses. Hayden doesn’t have the bulk to play tight end like his brother, at least not yet, so he’s split out wide at WR.
What I Expect From Him:
As I mentioned when discussing JJ Robertson, it’s really difficult to predict what will happen with our wide receivers. We’re pretty sure the three juniors – Millines, Lankford, and Harris – will see the most playing time. And we know that The Man Who Was Born To Play Football Terry Hawthorne is going to see a few plays as well. Beyond that, I have no idea who is next in line. There’s probably eight guys vying for that spot.
Why am I guessing? I’ll just list them. Guys vying to be the breakout receiver behind our juniors: Hayden Daniels, Jeremy Whitlow, Peter Bonahoom, JJ Robertson, Anthony Williams, Fritz Rock, and Jordan Frysinger. Plus Terry Hawthorne. And we might split Miles Osei out wide. And I think we’ll line up Jon Davis and Matt LaCosse as more WR and less TE in some formations. And, oh, why not, Justin Green, too.
So that’s the task in front of Daniels. Be one of maybe three guys to climb out of that pile and get some serious minutes this fall. My guess: it’s still too soon for Daniels. We’ll first hear from him in 2014.