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A Back with the Vision

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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Calvary Day School's 2019 leading rusher Greg Daniel looks to continue his upward trend in recruiting.

Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day made an early exit from the GHSA-A (Private) playoffs this last season. The Cavaliers were knocked out in the first round by bitter rival Savannah (Ga.) Christian after back-to-back trips to the State Quarterfinals the previous two seasons.

Two-way lineman and major recruit Fuches Lewis, II was not the lone crucial injury Head Coach Mark Stroud had to deal with in 2019. Leading rusher Greg Daniel also missed two complete games halfway through the season, both suffered an ankle sprain.

“Daniel is a solid character guy and his word is his bond,” Stroud said. “He has a great work ethic and is just a great teammate. This is a young man that always tries to play through injuries for the betterment of the team.”

Despite missing games last season Daniel still managed 923 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 153 carries while catching 12 passes for 134 yards and a score. He also filled in at linebacker, recording 26 tackles and four TFL’s. His performance earned him Second Team All-Region and he was honored Second Team All-Greater Savannah by the Savannah Morning News.

“I feel I have great vision and can see the hole while making the right cuts,” Daniel said. “I would like to improve upon my route running some, but I do have good hands. This coming season I will be playing running back again and some safety as well. As a freshman and sophomore I played mostly defense at nickel and outside linebacker.”

His outstanding season shouldn’t have come as a surprise. During his freshman and sophomore campaigns he racked up 58 tackles, four TFL’s and one sack on the defensive side of the ball. He also carried the ball 40 times for 300 yards and two touchdowns.

“He has the total respect of the entire coaching staff and his teammates,” Stroud said. “He has just proven himself as a person and a player. When he talks people listen and he is not self-centered. It is so critical having a guy like that on the team.”

Daniel maintains a 3.4 GPA and scored 910 on the first take of the SAT. Unfortunately like so many other juniors, the coronavirus has kept him from retaking the test. He hopes to retake it as soon as everything is back up and running. In the weight room Daniel has a 225-pound bench, 360-pound squat and a 225-pound power clean.

When not playing football he is a member of the Cavalier Track Team. He competes in the 110-hurdles, 100-meters and the 4x100-meters.

His football skills have not gone unnoticed by college recruiters. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back has already received scholarships offers from Air Force, Army, Austin Peay State, The Citadel and Holy Cross. He is also receiving strong interest from Appalachian State, Duke, East Carolina and Yale. Daniel admits he is open to anyone that is interested in his ability to play at the next level.

“He has a great overall skillset, he catches the ball well, blocks, runs low to the ground and he has it vision wise.” Stroud said. “Daniel is a tough kid and a very good student; he works hard because he wants to be a great player. If this season unfolds, I think he will have a great year.”

Daniel has already taken unofficial visits to Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Mercer and Wofford. Last year he took part in camps at Duke and Mercer. As far as future visits and camps it is sort of a wait and see situation until he figures out which schools are sincerely interested in his talents. All schools are currently recruiting Daniel as a running back.

“I’m not sure what his ceiling is, he is very strong for 185-pounds and we’ll just have to see what happens,” Stroud said. “He is not a combine guy; he is just a great football player. When people see him play they walk away really impressed. Sometimes DI coaches can’t get over a certain measurable, but again he is a great player.”

With GHSA reclassification the Cavaliers find themselves in a four-team all-parochial region with rivals Savannah Christian and Savannah (Ga.) Country Day, all playoff teams last season. Add to the mix Augusta (Ga.) Aquinas and you have a straight up donnybrook for league dominance.

“We have to get everybody, I mean the whole team, locked in and focused,” Daniel said. “This means watching and studying film together and building a fearless attitude in order to win the region. We have to play our assignments right and do our jobs.”

Look for Daniel to continue his upward trend in recruiting. All five of his current offers have taken place after March, 25. Academics will not scare college recruiters away as Air Force, Army, The Citadel and Holy Cross can’t take kids that barely qualify. And as Coach Stroud says, if the year unfolds, expect Daniel to have a great senior season.