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IU football recruiting: Hoosiers keeping high level company in push for top-400 M.J. Daniels

Could the wildly successful freshman season enjoyed by Indiana cornerback Tiawan Mullen impact the next crop of Hoosier recruiting targets?

The opportunity to see the field right away has put Indiana in some prestigious company in the recruitment of Mississippi cornerback M.J. Daniels.

Daniels announced a top six last week that included IU along with Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Minnesota.

When it comes to the Hoosiers, the chance to play right away caught Daniels’ eye.  He spoke to The Daily Hoosier about his recruitment including what stands out about IU.

Daniels said he wasn’t familiar with Mullen’s story, but it lines up well with his hopes for year one in college.

“I just feel like I could come in and play as a freshman and have a big impact in the defensive backfield,” Daniels told The Daily Hoosier.

New safeties coach Jason Jones is leading Indiana’s recruitment of Daniels.

Jones, a former star corner at Alabama, is one of several Indiana coaches that spent time on the staff at Ole Miss and have deep ties in the state.  Head coach Tom Allen, defensive coordinator Kane Wommack, and receiver coach Grant Heard were all on the coaching staff in Oxford as well.

While the staff’s Mississippi ties haven’t played a big role with Daniels, the relationships that have been built are key.

“I really didn’t pay attention to that (the Mississippi connection),” Daniels said.  “I just built a great relationship with all the coaches.”

Daniels was committed to Ole Miss for more than a year before opening things back up.  The class of 2021 recruiting target is ranked No. 392 and a 3-star by the industry aggregated 247Sports Composite.  247Sports’ own rankings are much more favorable, with Daniels listed as a 4-star recruit and the No. 209 player overall in the 2021 class.

A 6-foot-3, 185-pound athlete who expects to play defensive back at the college level, Daniels was a force on both sides of the ball as a junior at George County in Lucedale, Miss.

As a corner, Daniels had six interceptions and 30 tackles during the 2019 campaign. On offense, he threw for 626 yards and five touchdowns and had 16 catches for 298 yards and four more scores.

Daniels is a two-sport star in high school.  A talented baseball pitcher and outfielder, Daniels has considered playing both sports in college and he tells The Daily Hoosier that is on the table as part of his college decision.

Daniels intends to finish his senior season before finalizing his choice.  He hopes to take visits if allowed and sign in December.

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