June 3, 2011
MIH: #3 Mike Daniels
Mike Daniels is a beast. That is the most common word used to describe the Hawkeye defensive tackle. While Daniels is as humble as they come off the field, he lets his play on the field do the talking. This year his value increases because he's Iowa's best returning defensive lineman and the supporting cast will not be as strong. Find out more about Daniels value heading into the 2011 season.
MEASUREMENTS: 6-foot-1 and 280 pounds
THE NUMBERS: 40 tackles, including 11 for loss and four sacks.
WHY DANIELS MADE THE LIST
The fun answer to why Mike Daniels comes in at #3 on our list of Most Indispensable Hawkeyes is because he is one scary dude. Last year Adrian Clayborn said if you were in a dark alley, Daniels was his choice for the guy who would have his back.
The real answer is the "Diesel" is a beast in the middle of the line. Last year at this time, Daniels was a guy everyone was talking about and also wondering about. He had a buzz about his game and then he went out and proved that he belonged. While last year's defensive line was filled with future NFL Draft picks, you could make a good argument that Daniels was Iowa's most consistent performer.
While Daniels isn't flashy off the field, on the field he plays with a motor that won't quit. More importantly, even though he is in the tradition of a defensive tackle that is a bit undersized, his powerfully compact frame is nearly impossible to move out of the trenches. One impressive trait with Daniels that is often overlooked is his quickness. While he won't be winning any 40 yard dashes, he is quick off the ball and plays with an edge to his game.
This year the supporting cast won't be as strong on paper and Daniels will probably be attracting more attention. He will also have to help bring along a new starter at the other defensive tackle position and bring along a relatively inexperienced defensive line.
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