Jeremy Pruitt recently told the media at the Rotary Club that we won’t let anyone else or any rankings tell him who can play football. This was evident in his first signing class, as the Vols signed a couple lower rated players that the coaching staff was high on. Pruitt isn’t afraid of judgement and is confident in his ability to assess talent. This pattern has continued into the 2019 class, and Tennessee just offered a lower rated prospect with an impressive high school career and a solid offer list.
Knowledge McDaniel is a three-star running back from Bradenton, Florida, and he was offered by the Vols Thursday afternoon.
— Knowledge McDaniel (@kcmc1515) May 3, 2018
McDaniel is the No. 1,241 player in the country and the 93rd-best running back in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He has, however, been an elite athlete for Braden River High School. After his junior season at Braden River, one local newspaper named him the player of the year in the region. Despite his lower ranking, he still holds an impressive offer list. Georgia, Ohio State, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Ole Miss are among a lengthy list of schools that have extended a scholarship to the talented back.
Lining up at both receiver and tailback, McDaniel compiled over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns last season according to MaxPreps. In a game against eventual state champion Venice High School, he had over 200 receiving yards.
Though he’s been used a lot as a receiver in high school, McDaniel projects at running back in college because he is only 5-foot-11. But he presents plenty of versatility.
Even though he is smaller, McDaniel still weighs in at 215 pounds and is very strong and powerful. His film shows an offensive weapon with plenty of speed. He has the ability to accelerate and break away from defenders at the second level. He isn’t afraid of contact, and he would rather lower his shoulder than go out of bounds. His hands are above average, and his footwork is solid. Vision will be key for a smaller back, and he plays with a high level of awareness. Ball security is sometimes a concern, but overall he is a great prospect and a great route runner.
More schools will continue to get in on McDaniel, and I would imagine his rating will increase if he has similar production his senior season. He will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on, and the Vols will be looking to add at least one running back in their 2019 class.