Two-star defensive lineman Mike Daniels gave the Iowa Hawkeyes a verbal commitment on his official visit to Iowa City this past weekend. On Monday night, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Daniels, who hails from Blackwood, NJ, talked about his decision.
Q: So you made your decision this weekend?
DANIELS: Yeah. I committed to Iowa and I can't wait to sign. I gave the coaches the word yesterday when I talked to Coach Ferentz.
Q: What did the coaches say when you committed?
DANIELS: They were just as excited as I was. They really wanted me to come up on the visit and I had to miss wrestling to visit, but I did. I came and watched how things go around there and I love it.
Q: What made you decide that Iowa was the right place for you?
DANIELS: The thing that really attracted me was the fact there are a lot of players from the South Jersey area. I knew about these guys because they were the big names when I was a freshman and sophomore in high school. Now they're about to be my teammates and they're welcoming me, so I really liked that. I also liked the atmosphere and the people. Everyone is very friendly out there. The coaches really know what they're doing. I talked to a lot of different coaches and what really attracted me the most was probably the strength and conditioning coach, Coach Doyle. I can't wait to get on his program and work with him.
Q: What was the meeting with Coach Doyle like?
DANIELS: It was great. He really knows his stuff when it comes to nutrition, proper rest, how to lift, and of course how not to lift. His program is just amazing. For example, he told me that Kenny Iwebema from Texas walked in weighing 215 pounds and now he's 265 pounds and playing defensive end. He really knows what he's doing.
Q: Are they looking at you for defensive end?
DANIELS: They're talking defensive end and defensive tackle once I get bigger.
Q: You are at 215 right now for wrestling?
DANIELS: Yeah. My playing weight was 240 or 245.
Q: What weight do you think you will end up at in college?
DANIELS: I'm going to go ahead and ballpark 270 or 275. Like I was saying, Coach Doyle really puts the weight on you properly. You can get bigger and faster at the same time, which is amazing.
Q: When did Iowa really start to show interest in your recruiting?
DANIELS: I would say three weeks ago is when the coaching staff got a hold of my highlight DVD. They passed it around and eventually it got to Coach Ferentz. As soon as he saw it, he called my head coach and called me as well.
Q: What other schools had you heard from?
DANIELS: Temple, Villanova, Pitt, Rutgers, and Penn State.
Q: But Iowa was the first big school to come through with an offer?
DANIELS: Yeah. Penn State was about to offer, but then they found somebody else so I was put on the back burner. Then Rutgers, I never got in real deep with them. Pitt wanted me to visit real bad, but Iowa really showed me the most interest, so I decided to visit and go with them.
Q: How does it feel now that you have made your decision?
DANIELS: It feels great. It really calms my nerves. Now I can finally relax and enjoy my senior year.
Currently, Daniels is in the middle of wrestling season where he holds an 18-1 record at 215 pounds. This spring, the senior will compete in track where he throws the shot put, discus, and javelin, as well as triple jumps and occasionally runs the 4x100.
Daniels is the 19th verbal commitment for the Hawkeyes in the recruiting class of 2007 and the second from New Jersey, joining Willingboro linebacker Dezman Moses.