When it comes to defensive backs, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt and defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley know what they like. Both of UT’s coaches have a strong track record of identifying and developing talent in the secondary, and their resumes have attracted the attention of recruits across the country.
On Monday, another highly-rated defensive back picked up an offer from the Vols.
MJ Daniels is a four-star athlete/defensive back who plays for George County in Lucedale, Mississippi. He tweeted out on Monday that he added an offer from Tennessee, tagging Ansley in his tweet.
— MJ (@MjDaniels11) July 13, 2020
According to the 247Sports rankings, Daniels is the No. 210 overall prospect, No. 10 athlete, and No. 2 recruit in the state of Mississippi. He’s just outside of four-star range in the composite, coming in at No. 392 overall.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound athlete was once committed to Ole Miss, pledging himself to the in-state Rebels on November 29, 2019. But last month on June 1st, Daniels announced his decommitment from Ole Miss and reopened his recruitment.
Daniels holds offers from Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss in the SEC. He holds several other offers from Power Five schools as well.
Originally, Daniels announced last Friday that he planned on trimming down his list of teams this week. But with both Minnesota and Tennessee offering Daniels over the last week, it remains to be seen if Daniels still holds to that plan.
Daniels plays a variety of roles for George County, including quarterback, running back, and wide receiver on offense. But his ceiling looks highest at defensive back, and that’s likely where Tennessee is recruiting him to play.
On defense, Daniels has really good instincts and makes great breaks on the ball, picking off multiple passes thanks to his great awareness. He has some good coverage skills and shows off flashes of athleticism on both sides of the ball. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a threat for a big play every single time. Daniels’ frame is exceptional, and he is the kind of lengthy defensive back who could thrive at the next level.
As a junior, Daniels totaled 39 tackles, four tackles for loss, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and three interception returns for touchdowns on defense. Offensively, Daniels threw for over 600 yards and ran for over 150 more while also catching 16 passes for 298 yards and four scores. He totaled over 1,000 all-purpose yards.
Tennessee currently holds commitments from 23 prospects in their 2021 class, a class that ranks fourth in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC on 247Sports.