Four-star defensive end Elijah Daniel is currently verbally committed to the Clemson Tigers, but there's good reason to believe that a team from the SEC will be able to get him to flip.
According to quotes via Jared Shanker of ESPN.com, the line of communication between the Tigers and their four-star recruit seems to be fraying:
“I haven’t really talked to them that much,” the ESPN 150 prospect and No. 6-ranked defensive end said.
Shanker then goes on to say that SEC schools like Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee, amongst others, are on top of Daniel's list.
The good news here is that he's committed. The bad news, according to this quote from Shanker's article, is that he doesn't seem to sold on the Tigers anymore:
As Daniel continues to look at his options, does he still consider himself a Clemson commit?
“Yeah,” he said, “for right now.”
Which of these schools has the best shot at getting Daniel to flip? Let's give the edge to the Florida Gators.
Out of the three schools mentioned, Florida is easily the best program in terms of its ability to win, especially its potential to win meaningful games.
Ole Miss checks in at 3-2 on the current season, and Tennessee also finds themselves at a disappointing 3-2 (0-2 SEC). Florida on the other hand currently stands at 4-0 (3-0 SEC) and is ranked No. 10 on the current AP Poll.
While current records can be a recruiting draw, it's really the future of the program that needs to be sold, but that's a place where Florida is looking good as well. Will Muschamp is putting together a very strong 2013 recruiting class, currently ranked No. 6 overall by Rivals, so he has the opportunity to pitch the fact that Florida's future is looking just as good, if not better, than the present.
The one issue Florida may run into is the fact that there are already have three defensive ends verbally committed for 2012, but Daniel did admit that he's really looking at the Gators, according to Shanker's report.
The depth chart doesn't seem to be a deterrent, and elite level players never really mind competition.
Daniel is still committed to the Clemson Tigers, but it appears as if his verbal is quickly becoming weaker.
Also, don't forget that the nation's No. 1 recruit, Robert Nkemdiche is also a Clemson commit, but one would be naive to feel solid about his verbal, especially considering the fact that his brother, Denzel, plays at Ole Miss and Robert has had a ton of interaction with the Rebels' program.
If Nkemdiche were to decommit and go to an SEC program, it could cause a domino effect for other recruits like Daniel that are on the fence. Even if Nkemdiche stays though, which is still likely, how much will the thought of being the "second-fiddle" at defensive end impact Daniel's decision making?
It almost feels like a lose-lose situation for the Tigers. Clemson's loss could end up being the SEC's gain though.
If there's any SEC team that he's interested in that can get him to flip, it would be the Florida Gators.
It's a strong program that's on the verge of being stronger. It appears as if the four-star defensive end already has an interest, and the Gators have what it takes to convince him to flip.