WR DaVaris Daniels still hopes for offer from Dad’s Dogs

ATH DaVaris Daniels, here returning an interception, played multiple positions for Vernon Hills High last season.

DaVaris Daniels, here returning an interception, played multiple positions for Vernon Hills High in Illinois last season (Photo by Sun-Times Media)

Should Georgia make legacy prospects a recruiting priority?

Phillip Daniels thinks so. And that’s the core question surrounding the curious case that is the recruitment of his son, wide receiver prospect DaVaris Daniels of Vernon Hills, Ill.

Phillip Daniels is a Georgia letterman (1992-1995) and a defensive end about to enter his 15th season in the NFL (with the Washington Redskins). His son, by all accounts, is a pretty decent football prospect himself.

DaVaris Daniels, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound play-maker, gets a four-star rating from both Rivals and Scout, is the No. 90 prospect overall and the No. 15 receiver in the ESPNU 150 rankings, and has a pretty impressive offer sheet of about a dozen schools (only two below the Mason-Dixon line, for what that’s worth).

Last week I wrote about DaVaris Daniels abruptly canceling a press conference planned for last Tuesday in which he was expected to announce his choice between Miami and Notre Dame. There was a minor controversy surrounding that story. “He just wasn’t ready to make up his mind yet,” Phillip Daniels said. But that’s not what this blog is about.

This is about Phillip Daniels’ frustration with the recruiting process, specifically with regard to his alma mater. He believes the Bulldogs should have offered his son by now based on his high school production, his video and the fact that Phillip Daniels is his father.

Meanwhile, we know Georgia is fully aware of DaVaris Daniels. The Bulldogs are actively recruiting him. He has been invited to past and upcoming camps, though he has yet to attend any.

Georgia, of course, can’t comment on recruits per NCAA rules. But clearly it must have some sort of reservations or else they would have offered by now.

“As far as Georgia, I think Georgia got into this thing really late,” Daniels said Sunday. “I don’t think he even got a phone call from them until maybe March or April. The receivers coach (Tony Ball) called. He talked to me first. I told him, being a legacy kid, they weren’t recruiting [DaVaris] hard enough. He said they were recruiting a lot of in-state kids. I said [DaVaris] ought to be treated like an in-state kid being a legacy.”

Daniels went on to say that his son was not the only “legacy kid” getting slow play from the Bulldogs. He mentioned that the late Brice Hunter’s son, ATH Tyler Hunter of Lowndes County, committed to Florida State earlier this year without getting a UGA offer. And Whitewater High running back Josh Clemons, son of UGA letterman Charlie Clemons, has offers from Maryland and UCF but none from the Bulldogs.

“And he’s been there five times,” Daniels said of Josh Clemons. “Chris Terry’s son [Chris Terry II of Jacksonville] doesn’t have an offer either.”

Of course, Georgia can’t offer every legacy. Like any other storied football program, there are hundreds of living lettermen who have children who excel in sports. But there is a standard of excellence that must be maintained. And a lot of the aforementioned players  aren’t what you’d call no-brainer recruits.

  • Clemons (5-10, 202), a solid player for sure, happens to play a position where the Bulldogs are recruiting the nation’s most elite prospects.
  • Hunter (6-0, 198) is undersized as a safety, plays a position where Georgia received two early commitments and played in only five games last season due to a neck injury.
  • Terry (6-3, 230), a defensive end/outside linebacker at First Coast, currently is not rated by Rivals, Scout or ESPN and does not have any major-conference offers.

Daniels, however, would appear to have all the necessary credentials. He accounted for 888 total yards while playing multiple positions as a junior at Vernon Hills High last season (221 receiving, 344 rushing, 323 passing). And the Bulldogs are definitely in the market for wide receivers. They have three commitments at that position so far — Chris Conley, Justin Scott-Wesley and Zack Witchett — all in-state kids. But they have come up short in their efforts to land “national prospects” such as Charone Peake (committed to Clemson) and Rashad Greene (committed to Miami).

“[The Bulldogs] question the league that he played in,” Phillip Daniels said of his son. “That’s the only thing that they weren’t sure about. But he plays a skill position. It’s running and catching the ball. My answer was, look what he’s done in that league. And you’re talking about a kid who has a 40-inch vertical. He runs 4.4 [40-yard dash]. He plays every sport. He even plays defense. I’m not saying that as a dad. I’m saying that as somebody who has been around athletes all my life. Whoever gets him is going to get a special athlete.”

The main holdback seems to be the fact that DaVaris Daniels hasn’t been on a visit or attended a camp at Georgia. That, Phillip said, has been an issue.

“Their Junior Day, we got a letter the week it was happening inviting him,” he said. “With my schedule, that’s not good. I’m in D.C. at least four days a week. Between his schedule and my schedule there’s a lot of conflicts. I’ve got to have some time to work things out. But all they have to say is, ‘Phil, can you bring your son down?’”

With all the problems and issues, you’d think this particular saga will end with DaVaris Daniels going in a different direction than his father. Not necessarily, Dad says.

“You’re talking about a kid who grew up loving Georgia because his Dad played there,” said Phillip, who lives in Vernon Hills with his high-school sweetheart wife Leslie and their four children, ages 6 to 17. “He was born my first year at Georgia. And I’ll tell you this right now: He loves Mark Richt. He loves the way Mark Richt coaches, the kind of man he is. He likes all the coaches at Georgia but I think if Mark Richt called him that would probably change everything. Georgia probably has some leeway because of him and because I went there.”

So what do you think? Have the Bulldogs mishandled this particular situation? Should they be more beholding to legacy prospects than regular ones? Or has UGA handled it the way it ought to be handled?

141 comments Add your comment

ATL

June 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

Chris Eagle

June 28th, 2010
2:17 pm

You’d like to have a legacy when it comes to players, but not all 2nd generation athletes are worth signing. With that being said, DaVaris Daniels is worth the scholarship.

Lowndes25

June 28th, 2010
2:18 pm

I think that this has to be one of the most interesting recruiting cases out there right now…not really sure what is holding UGA back from offering Daniels, but I would be interested to know the coaches thoughts on the issue (even though we never will). Apparently his high school film is not a “slam-dunk” sale like Daniels’ father thinks it is or we would have offered right away. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 28th, 2010
2:22 pm

if his dad is going to continue with all this drama and demand his son gets offered a scholarship, i say pass on him. but the invite to the camps has been made, ball is in daniel’s court now.

ludatripp

June 28th, 2010
2:23 pm

in Richt we trust.

DX107

June 28th, 2010
2:25 pm

sounds like a good football player to me. Could always switch to CB on D. 4.4 40 – with hands sure would go along way to help young QB.

VA DAWG

June 28th, 2010
2:25 pm

Seems like he would likely get an offer, if he comes to camp and shows what he can do in front of the coaches against elite talent. Worked for Ty Montgomery….as a fellow grad I hope he gets the chance to prove himself and earn the offer. Good luck to him and Phillip wherever he ends up. GO DAWGS!

Foster

June 28th, 2010
2:26 pm

I like the idea of staying in-state except in rare cases. You get more passion, more loyalty, more love, more dedication, more social support structure, in-state, think of David Greene and Pollack. You also get kids with good values, that value family, they want to play close to home.

Sure, UGA is the NFL Pipeline, can’t blame the Dad for trying, but it’s not gonna happen.

Jason

June 28th, 2010
2:27 pm

To me, red flag when he avoids camp & competition. Seems like Dad covering up the fact the kid plays against weak comeptition, and yet doesn’t want to put son in camp against big-time competition. If he’s good, he shouldn’t fear competition.

dawgfan

June 28th, 2010
2:30 pm

Phillip Daniels is a concerned parent, and I don’t blame him for holding his alma mater to a higher standard. Things have a tendency to work out, so I’m sure that he, DaVaris, and UGA will figure it out. Obviously, it’s harder for UGA to evaluate a kid from the midwest than a kid from the southeast, so DaVaris should focus on his upcoming season and the recruiting will take care of itself.

Good luck to DaVaris.

Ted Striker

June 28th, 2010
2:31 pm

I’d like to see him get an offer, because he sounds like a good kid and a guy with good collegiate performance potential. However not everything is transparent and as easy as it seems. If he doesn’t have an offer from UGA yet, there’s a reason and I’m satisfied not knowing it.

The rest of us

June 28th, 2010
2:31 pm

Clemons (5-10, 202), a spolid player, happens to play a position where the Bulldogs are recruiting the nation’s most elite prospects.

Is the Clemons kid spoiled or solid?

Ted Striker

June 28th, 2010
2:32 pm

And good luck to DaVaris, also, if I haven’t made that clear. This UGA supporter is pulling for him.

jason

June 28th, 2010
2:33 pm

UGA should be trying to recruit more legacy players. Having said that, UGA should also do their best to get the best players they can. Very rare that you grab a son of a great former player who is as talented much less a better player than their father. The truth about they Daniels kid is somewhere in between what his dad thinks of his talents and what UGA probably does. He can always go to Athens with his son. He is alumini, don’t think he would need an invitation.

jason

June 28th, 2010
2:37 pm

foster, I agree with your post. Love having the in state kids stay home. I think an exception would be like the recruitment of Staff. Have to a concensus “Blue Chip” prospect to go outta state, unless your dad is alumini and you have the talent to play at UGA.

Buzz

June 28th, 2010
2:38 pm

Some of these parents just lobby for a school to offer, and then leverage that to get to the schools they REALLY want. Looks like this could be the case here.

Also, the kid is 6′ 2”, according to ESPN, not 6′ 3”.

And, he’s slow in the 40, bout 4.5, not fast for a WR, Georgia has O-Lineman that could outrun him.

Some of the recruiting services question his toughness and commitment to blocking.

Bryan G.

June 28th, 2010
2:38 pm

The kid is a top 100 player and has offers from ND and Miami. Add to that the fact that his dad is from Georgia and went to UGA and I’d have to say I’m curious as to why he hasn’t been offered a scholly.

(By the way…random tidbit: Phillip Daniels and Baccari Rambo went to the same high school…Go Indians…)

Aj

June 28th, 2010
2:42 pm

The coaches want to see him in person, if he goes to the camp and does well it is almost certin that UGA will offer.

92 UGA Grad

June 28th, 2010
2:42 pm

We need another WR for this class and this kid is a solid player…a consensus Top 100 in the nation. Seems like a no-brainer….get him down here for Dawg Night next month and get him on board.

Reality

June 28th, 2010
2:43 pm

This sounds like an Adam James/Craig James situation. I think CMR learned from Mike Leach’s situation and is staying away from this kid. If he hasn’t been offered, there is a reason.

destin dawg

June 28th, 2010
2:45 pm

come to Athens…good size & speed .. could be a D Back ??? good luck in any case..

Eat and Tweet

June 28th, 2010
2:48 pm

Enter your comments here

gdawginkalamazoo

June 28th, 2010
2:51 pm

Get down for a visit. The only thing MR will buy with out test driving is a Ford F-350 loaded. He wants the kid down for a camp. Daniels can afford a last minute flight to the ATL. If offered the scholly it would more than pay for itself. They will get it worked out. Either way good luck to DeVaris whatever happens. And proud that Phillip is still representing the bullodgs after 15 years.

BDAWG

June 28th, 2010
2:52 pm

I agree with Chris Eagle. We are still looking for WRs and not to pursue this guy is crazy. He is a high rated player and other big time programs think he is worthy. Again, I am a big time UGA fan but, for some reason when the truth is told it angers a lot of people. UGA always seems to offer some players late. This kid seems like a pretty good player and again, this in state recruiting thing seems to come up again and again. GT even goes out of the state to recruit. The state of Ga. has some great players but if you want to stay at the top of the heap, you have to go after the best players at each position. We still need LBs and one guy visited GT on Friday and said he wanted to see UGA before he left the state and guess what, I think he is the #1 or #2 prospect at his position and UGA didn’t even offer or show any interest in this kid. We want players that want to play for UGA and some of the instate kids don’t want to play for us, so that’s why we have to recruit nationally not just instate. On another note, I think we should offer and give Dexter Moody a second chance. Kids make mistakes, but we also learn from our misstakes.

Craig James

June 28th, 2010
2:53 pm

CMR and his recruiting coordinator should be fired for not promising this Daniels kid a chance to play for UGA.

alpharettadawg

June 28th, 2010
2:55 pm

I think CMR is using the Marlon Brown case as a reason to play a wait n see approach with Daniels. Brown didn’t play against big-time competition and we all see how slow he has come along.

Bulldog59

June 28th, 2010
2:58 pm

Hey dad, you were an awesome football player at UGA and continue that to this day in the NFL. Wise up! Call CMR, ask what you need to do to get an evaluation and possible offer for your son. If CMR says, we need him in a camp, set it up!

Playing a game of who-owes-who-the-most (legacy vs. university) will cost Devaris Daniels the most!

As for the legacy question, sorry, don’t buy it. I graduated from UGA likes thousands of others, and it bought my oldest son nothing at UGA. He had to earn his entrance and degree from UGA on his own, just like my youngest son plans to do.

Football is a business for all NCAA coaching staffs. Their jobs are to win, not provide a football team for the sons of former players.

Bottom line, Phillip, have faith in your son’s abilities and get him to camp!

Buzz

June 28th, 2010
3:01 pm

Perhaps, the kid’s injury-prone, might not be true, but if so, explains things somewhat.

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/sports/2417592,5_2_WA22_VH_S1-100622.article

Delbert D.

June 28th, 2010
3:02 pm

Kind of strange. Family lives in Illinois, Dad works in D.C. (at least through this year), and he’s hung up on Georgia? Notre Dame has their own TV network, it’s closer to home than Athens, and Notre Dame doesn’t play a lot of SEC away games.

Hey Phillip!!!!!

June 28th, 2010
3:04 pm

Not gonna say who, but we played together. Get him down to Athens and its a done deal. Trust me. I know you are gonna read all of this, you read the DawgVent comments and piped in there too. Get DaVaris down there and he will be a Dawg….IF, he performs well. My son didnt get an offer, but guess what, he didnt deserve one. He isnt D1 material. Let your son do his thing in front of the staff and all is well.

Freudian slip?

June 28th, 2010
3:10 pm

Instead of writing solid, Chip almost wrote “spoiled.” I don’t think that was by accident.

Delbert D.

June 28th, 2010
3:12 pm

Ahh..he didn’t meet the academic requirements for ND.

RxDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:13 pm

These comments should make for some good reading… But before I read those, here is my 2 cents.

1. Should UGA be recruiting this athelete? Who knows, there is no telling who is on UGA’s recruiting radar for WR. We’ve gotten a few, and missed out on a few. This kid sounds good, and he sounds interested in UGA. Maybe it’s worth it for them to look into it.

2. Should UGA be recruiting this athelete because he’s a legacy? That’s a big fat hell naw. This ain’t no frat. This is a top of the line football program that has 84 slots for thousands of high school atheletes. It’s easy to get worked up after reading any of these “but why didn’t UGA offer me!?” But the numbers just don’t work that way. Did this young man reach out to UGA and get snubed, or is this more of a “hey I have all these great offers, but not UGA’s -> what gives?” Either way, the University of Georgia will offer who it believes is in the best interest of the program.

DP

June 28th, 2010
3:18 pm

Phillip Daniels sounds like he is maybe a music legacy himself (Please, Please, Please, Please). Stop begging.

SEC fan

June 28th, 2010
3:18 pm

Enter your comments here

RxDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:19 pm

BDAWG “UGA always seems to offer some players late.”

When is national signing day again?

McDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:20 pm

offer the guy-can’t speak to other legacys but from everything i have read he is SEC caliber

Konehead

June 28th, 2010
3:21 pm

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: i dont feel that this is drama. Although I feel UGA should offer the best recruits regardless of legacy, they should give this kid an offer. I’m sure they’ve offered many kids that haven’t been to a camp. So that is not a requirement for an offer. The kid is obviously better than Micheal Bennetta player who we signed last year. i’m not saying we shouldnt offered Mike but this kid is better. You can see this from the film as well as the amount of offers and from which schools they recieved them from. This kid is a player at a position we are in need of depth. What is the problem???

RxDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:22 pm

Bulldog59

June 28th, 2010
2:58 pm

Best post I’ve seen so far. Well, other than my own haha ;)

Terry

June 28th, 2010
3:22 pm

The bottom line is Phillip Daniels & son need to come to camp, and try out for the coaching staff, even in NFL you have to try out, can you Imagine Daniels tell his former NFL team that they need to draft his son, because he played there.

Dan

June 28th, 2010
3:23 pm

If he’s from Illinois, he probably doesn’t have SEC Speed.

BrandonDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:24 pm

Jason, I agree with you 100% competition is huge, look what happened with Marlon Brown last year, he can run and catch but hadn’t done it against athletes of his caliber and it slowed him down. Daniels needs to come to a camp and show what he’s got then I think UGA would have no problem offering him.

CoachDawg 2000

June 28th, 2010
3:26 pm

Don’t forget Drew Butler was an 11th hour offer. But if we gave Joe T.III a scholly how could we not offer Daniels? I’ mean Joe T. was a D-2 (west ga or valdosta state) QB at best!

Joe Don't Go Squad

June 28th, 2010
3:28 pm

CDAWG

June 28th, 2010
3:29 pm

One thing we all have to realize is that it all comes down to dollars. The SEC/UGA generates quite a bit of money, but look how far down we were last year from two years ago. I think CMR realizes we can’t afford too many more down years therefore, he needs to put the best players that he can on the field.
One cannot blame CMR for wanting this kid to come to camp so that he can evaluate him. I think it only fair that he do this if he is expecting a premiere institution to give him a free ride with a quality education.

Will

June 28th, 2010
3:33 pm

I want to recruit players who want to be at UGA and have a love for UGA. So Tony Ball and CMR need to get off their asses and at least call this kid! The fact that this is even a story pisses me off. Very frustrating.

fishook dawg

June 28th, 2010
3:36 pm

I’m no D-1 prospect, but if I was and I wanted to go to a certain school, I believe I would do whatever that school wanted me to do, to get the chance to go there. Just because my dad went there, doesn’t mean they owe me a scholarship. Come to camp, show what you’ve got, and the rest will take care of itself.

italian_29

June 28th, 2010
3:37 pm

It is sad that people think that there is something wrong with the Daniels kid, just because we haven’t offered him.

JayDawg

June 28th, 2010
3:37 pm

I want guys that want to be here to but the kid has to come to a camp he doesn’t just get a free ride cause of his dad. GO DAWGS!!

Athens Dawg

June 28th, 2010
3:39 pm

Legacy Kid doesn’t mean that he can play. Ask Michael Jordan’s sons. They can’t even start in NCAA.