Daniels Is Ready to Wow NFL Scouts
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - B.J. Daniels is back at full strength and ready to show NFL scouts that he can be better than ever at the next level.
Four months removed from a season-ending ankle injury, the Bulls' dazzling dual-threat quarterback is fully healthy and excited to take part in USF Pro Day on Wednesday.
"I just want to be able to get my foot in the door. Somebody believed in Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick and those guys," Daniels said. "It doesn't take all 32 teams to be interested. It just takes that one in that one system, and a coach to believe in you. I'm looking forward to it."
Daniels has been encouraged by the response he's gotten from NFL teams since he started training with teammate Victor Marc at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami at the beginning of the year.
"I've talked on the phone with a lot of GMs, which is a big surprise to me - a lot more GMs than scouts," Daniels said. "I've talked with a lot of teams and quarterback is what I'm doing. It's definitely what I'm doing at Pro Day. If they pull me to the side and ask me to catch a ball here or there, I'm not going to decline doing that."
Daniels finished his USF career as the second-best Bull in total offense (10,501 yards) and tied for second with 52 touchdown passes after his college run came to an abrupt end against UConn on Nov. 3. His first big step towards getting back to playing shape took place the first week of February when he ran full speed and well ahead of the usual recovery timetable.
"I felt great and I was really excited because with my healing time, I wasn't supposed to be jogging until then," he said.
Now that his feet are fully under him, Daniels aims to impress scouts with his throwing skills that have been sharpened under the guidance of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Drew Stanton down in Miami.
"He uses the phrase sometimes, 'Throw the ball like you don't care.' Just be smooth, relaxed and focus on being accurate," Daniels said. "We've also done film study and he's really helped me."
Daniels will have to wait to see if his NFL future consists of quarterbacking but he knows his skill set could be appealing to teams in today's game. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, who have QBs that punish opponents with their arms and legs.
"The game is changing as far as what they're asking the quarterbacks to do. With that, it actually helps me out with some of the things that I can do," Daniels said. "Some of the teams want me to play quarterback. Some teams that have pretty good quarterback situations already want to see if I can do some other things."
An uncertain situation like Daniels' could cause a lot of stress, but he just sees it as business as usual. Coming out of Tallahassee's Lincoln High School, Daniels was overlooked by his hometown Seminoles and beat FSU in his first-career start in 2009.
"I've dealt with different stages of my life where I've had to rebuild or come back in a situation where I have to prove myself all over again," he said. "It's just like coming out of high school and being a freshman again. You have to state your claim and really go at it full speed."
Just the mention of Pro Day brought a big smile to Daniels' face as he approaches the event like it's game day all over again.
"The last time people saw me I was on crutches. A lot of people are still surprised to even see me walking right now," he said. "I'm excited about the numbers and things I'll probably be able to put up tomorrow. I'm going to have fun and enjoy it."