In the only football game on TV on Monday night, Clemson pulled off an impressive win over LSU in…
USAAAB: O'Daniel testing himself
In fact, the 6-foot-1, 201-pounder is rubbing elbows with fellow Clemson verbal commitment and defensive lineman Scott Pagano and is doing what he can to get cornerback Mackensie Alexander and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to join him while they are participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practices and game.
"I try to mention a few things to some of the potential commits, but they didn't seem too interested," O'Daniel said. "I don't know how I feel about that. I'm going to leave that to coaches and throw in my two cents. If I get a chance, I'll definitely sit down and have a one-on-one with them but as far as that's concerned, I'm just going to let the coach take care of that."
The honor of being selected for such a distinguished all-star game isn't one that the Olney, Md., native brushes to the side.
"Man, it's a blessing just to be surrounded by athletes your caliber all around you," he said. "It's such an amazing feeling. The Army game being such a prestigious game, it's just an honor to come out here and represent our country, my family and everyone that's supported me.
"This past summer I went to a lot of showcases with a lot of the top athletes around the country and this game is just kind of bringing that to a physical level. We're throwing the pads on, throwing the helmets on and going out there and playing with everyone one last time before everyone does go their separate ways for the college level. I guess you could say it's a test to see where I'm at athletically."
O'Daniel capped his high school career in a fashion few others achieve — going out a winner. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) High School defeated DeMatha 26-14 on Nov. 18 to win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship. The future Tiger did his part, rushing for 140 yards on 22 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"As a senior, it's amazing (to go out a winner)," the country's No. 13 outside linebacker said. "It's the first time a team from Maryland has finished No. 1 four years in a row. So, to be a part of that is amazing."
It was Good Counsel's fourth straight WCAC championship and it finished 11-1.
Look for the All-American to take his official visit next week.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said O'Daniel, who's been committed since April 14. "I've been down there four times I want to say. Just being down there each time has been a great time. Coaches show a lot of love. So, to be down there one last time to see what it's really about when they roll out the red carpet for me and everything, I'm really excited."
Before moving to South Carolina, O'Daniel wants to work on the fundamentals of playing linebacker after just two seasons at the position.
"My plan is to not redshirt," he said. "Obviously, I'll have to go in there and compete for playing time. I would like to come in and make and impact, but I'm also going to have to compete and put on a little weight — everyone keeps saying I'm a little light. The way I look at it, it's college…you're going to put weight on regardless. So, mainly I'm just going to focus on finishing out this offseason strong."
O'Daniel has his eyes on a career as a counselor beyond football, looking to major in sociology and psychology. Clemson fans may see him enrolled in early summer. Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer
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