Bulldog LB in running for lineman
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005
By Kevin Taylor
With just one senior among his starters on defense, Brantley coach David Lowery knew that he would need an underclassman to step up.
Jeffery Daniels, who led the Bulldogs in tackles as a sophomore, seemed to be the natural fit to take on that leadership role. In fact it was a perfect fit, according to Lowery.
“He provided more than just tackles for us on the field,” Lowery said. “He not only was our leading tackler for the second year in a row, he was our leader on and off the playing field.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior linebacker led Brantley to the Class 1A finals with a nose for the football. He led the Bulldogs in tackles with 131, including 15 in the 1A championship game. He finished the year with six tackles for loss and three interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown.
“He always does a good job of reading his keys,” Lowery said. “He also puts a lot of time into film study. He is one of the first to ask for a copy of a game film to take home to watch.”
Daniels is one of three finalists for the Class 1A lineman of the year. He is joined by Autaugaville's Brian Motley, who has verbally committed to play for the University of Alabama, and Cedar Bluff's Austin Hayes.
Daniels also has been selected to play in the annual North-South All-Star Football Game, which will be played Dec. 23 at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium in Troy.
Even as a junior high player, Lowery said he knew then that Daniels would be a special player.
“He was a lot bigger and more aggressive in junior high,” Lowery said. “Then last year, he showed signs that he was going to be a special player. And this year, he just took it to another level.”
The junior linebacker has already received interest from a number of junior colleges across the country as well as the University of Alabama, Lowery said.
Obviously having his leading tackler return for another season is good news for Lowery. It's not so good news for opponents like traditional Crenshaw County rival Highland Home.
“He's an outstanding athlete,” Flying Squadron coach Bob Farrior said. “You sent two or three guys to block him, and he'll just knock them down. I'll be glad when he's gone. There's no question he was one of the better players (Brantley) had.”
MR. FOOTBALL FINALISTS
Class 6A BACKS: Arnil Stallworth, Daphne, RB, Sr.; Cornelius Williams, Hoover, WR, Sr.; Deon Williams, Tuscaloosa Co., QB, Sr. LINEMEN: Bryan Morgan, Hoover, OL, Sr.; Andre Smith, Huffman, OL, Sr.; Reginald Stokes, Carver-Montgomery, DL, Sr.
Class 5A BACKS: Jeremy Helms, Russellville, QB, Sr.; Austin Hubbard, Homewood, QB, Sr.; Darian Stewart, Lee-Huntsville, DB/WR, Sr. LINEMEN: Daniel Orr, Eufaula, DE, Sr.; Rodney Hudson, B.C. Rain, OT/DT, Sr.; David Ross, Homewood, OL, Sr.
Class 4A BACKS: Chris Evans, Alexandria, RB, Sr.; Chad Mickens, St. Clair Co., RB, Sr.; Dontrell Miller, Demopolis, QB/DB, Sr. LINEMEN: Heath Batchelor, Haleyville, OL, Sr.; Sr.; Preston Dial, UMS-Wright, TE, Sr.; Bart Eddins, Trinity, DL, Sr.
Class 3A BACKS: Damion Chambers, Cherokee Co., WR/DB, Sr.; James Jackson, Pike County, RB, Jr.; Anthony Mostella, Oneonta, RB, Sr. LINEMEN: Jermarcus Ricks, Colbert Co., TE/DL, Sr.; Brad Weaver, Cherokee Co. ; OL/DE, Sr.; Joe Willie Whited, Oneonta, OL, Sr.
Class 2A BACKS: John Pascley, Southern Choctaw, RB, Sr.; Josh Reed, Leroy, WR, Sr.; Domini Rich, Houston Academy, RB, Sr. LINEMEN: Brandon Anderson, Southern Choctaw, OT/DE, Sr.; Davis Flowers, Houston Academy, LB, Jr.; Bryan Lankford, Leroy, OT, Jr.
Class 1A BACKS: Jeremy Bryant, Cedar Bluff, RB, Sr.; Chris Smelley, American Christian, QB, Sr.; Terrell Zachery, Wadley, WR, Sr. LINEMEN: Jeffery Daniels, Brantley, Jr., LB/DE; Austin Hayes, Cedar Bluff, OT/DE, Jr.; Brian Motley, Autaugaville, OT/DT, Sr.
AISA BACKS: Walter Arrington, Bessemer Academy, RB, Jr.; Wallace Drury, Southern Academy, RB, Jr.; Philip Moore, Edgewood Academy, QB, Sr. LINEMEN: Justin Dunn, Bessemer Academy, LB, Sr.; Andrew Slagel, Morgan Academy, OL/DL, Sr.; Jake Turner, Clarke Prep, TE/LB, Sr.