Avon (Ind.) High is off to a 3-0 start and ranked by the coaches at No. 5 in the state’s largest class.
Daniel has been committed to Clemson since June, but visited Indiana on Saturday. He has other trips in mind.
Coach Mark Bless has talent all over the football field including a few prospects garnering Division-I attention.
Nobody more so than senior defensive end Elijah Daniel, a Clemson commit that checks in as the nation’s No. 6 strong-side defensive end and No. 75 prospect overall according to the 247Composite.
“I think one of the noticeable things is he has learned to go full speed in every drill, and it’s really set the tone for the team because if one of your best players is going 100 miles per hour in practice, that sets the example for the other players,” Bless explained. “I think his mental approach and his physical approach into this season has been tremendous.”
Daniel gave his verbal pledge to the Tigers back in June but has softened on his stance. He visited Indiana last weekend for the Indiana State game and he’ll take an official to Marshall, where his older brother Armonze is a red-shirt freshman defensive lineman next weekend. Daniel also remains in touch with the coaching staffs at Florida, Miami and Ole Miss.
“I have no idea where he’s at with that,” Bless stated. “That weekend (he committed), I took him to Georgia and took him to Clemson, and the next day I picked him up. I was surprised when he made his verbal commitment and I said hey are you ready for everything to be done with, and actually Coach Dabo Swinney said the same thing and I felt very good about it. Who knows where he’s at now. Probably some doubt.
“As far as getting down to IU, wanting to see a game, that probably helps. He knows some people down there, knows some players on both teams. His interest level, I’m not sure.”
Daniel’s classmate, receiver Jalen Edwards has offers from Cincinnati and Western Kentucky, with Bless adding that Illinois, Indiana and Louisville showing personal interest. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Edwards joined Daniel in Bloomington last Saturday.
“I think one thing that I’ve noticed with Jalen is he’s paying attention more to the details of our offense than he had in the past,” Bless said. “I think in the past he was a very good athlete on the field doing the things he had to do. I think now he’s starting to understand and learn our concepts of what we’re trying to do.”
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Allen says he’s been getting steady mail from Iowa.
“Watching his progress that he’s made from a year ago, he’s progressed a lot,” Bless said. “We kind of threw him into the fire and he’s matured. He’s anchored down that position pretty well. I think he has all kinds of potential.
“He starting to get the understanding of how to come off the ball and get into the block,” he continued. “He has pretty good feet. He’s a good shot and discus thrower, so he understands footwork and mechanics. He’s still developing, but he’s definitely a project worth watching.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Duffin has only been able to play one game this fall. Bless thinks he could be a Big Ten caliber player.
“Mack is coming along,” Bless added. “His motor is very good. Has good size and plays with good leverage.”
A 2015 prospect to keep an eye on is Joey Belden, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end that has started all three games this fall.
“Joey has good football knowledge,” Bless said. “He understands how to play. He’s played several positions in two years. As a freshman he played fullback, tight end, at linebacker, and as a defensive lineman.”
Senior athlete Cole Johnson plays quarterback and safety, and currently has offers from Eastern Illinois and Indiana State.
Junior David Griffith (6-1, 190) is a standout running back for Avon but best projects as a safety on the next level.
“We use him at free safety and he covers the field,” Bless said.