When Euless, Texas, 4-star defensive tackle Chris Daniels needs to visually focus on improving his game, he goes to the guy considered one of the best—and arguably one of the most controversial—linemen in the game.
"Ndamukong Suh," Daniels said. "Some people say he can't control his temper, but really, he's a beast. He gets the job done. He's not the highest-paid defensive player ever for nothing."
Love him or hate him, Suh is a game-changing specimen on the football field, and his ability to dominate at any given time is at a level Daniels one day hopes to attain. Standing over 6'3" and weighing 299 pounds, Daniels is about the same size as Suh already, but he has a long way to go.
The best thing about Daniels: He knows this, and he's willing to work at a ridiculous pace to get as close to Suh as possible.
Big-time Power Five colleges have taken notice, as Daniels—representing Trinity High School—is just south of 30 offers. He announced a top five of Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M early last month, and he is preparing for upcoming official visits to Ohio State this weekend and Texas A&M the following weekend.
"I've been there before, so I'm trying to see how things are on game day," Daniels said of Ohio State. "I want to see the environment and see how the players interact.
"I've been to Texas A&M three times, but I want to see how the players interact with each other. I know about their 12th man, so I want to see what the campus is all about. Just being there around [College Station] will be cool."
Daniels is a physical lineman who can be a disruptive run-stopper and put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks because of his quickness. His best 40-yard dash is in the 4.8-second range, but he said he hasn't been clocked in the dash since adding 20 pounds to his frame.
Still, Daniels, a top-20 defensive tackle nationally among a loaded group of 2016 athletes at the position, is a dangerous lineman because of his versatility. He can add more weight to his frame and play inside, or he can drop weight and play as a hybrid defensive end because of his quickness off the ball.
"I feel like I can play any position on the line," he said. "I'm trying to get a little more leaned out just so I can get some more of that speed back. If I can go 100 miles an hour, I'm good."
In addition to being a player who thrives to improve each day, Daniels is considered a leader for Trinity's football team. During the game, Daniels is a playmaker who either racks up tackles or creates opportunities for his teammates because opposing teams are running away from him.
Before games, Daniels shows his leadership in other ways. He's one of the lead guys for Trinity's pregame Sipi Tau, a war dance popularized on the high school football stage by Trinity, a school known in Texas for its proud Tongan community.
"It's pretty serious to me. It's done for our ancestors, our families and ourselves," Daniels said of being a Sipi Tau leader. "It's very unique. At first, I thought it was just a little dance that got us hyped. It's really spectacular when you really learn it. We're family, and it's done for family."
Daniels is preparing for his upcoming official visits. He has one scheduled for Oklahoma on the weekend of Nov. 20. Ohio State will play Maryland on Saturday, and Texas A&M will host Alabama on Oct. 17 in a game that Daniels will keep a sharp eye on because of interest in both teams.
Look for a decision to come on Dec. 18, the day Daniels celebrates his 18th birthday.
Daniels said a decision will be determined by a variety of things with each school, but level of comfort around the campus and player-coach relationships will be two things that play significant roles in his choice.
"Having relationships with coaches, that's important," he said. "I want to feel they can peak my game. I like all the defenses and the defensive line coaches. It's just going to be a matter of where I feel the most comfortable."
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. Unless otherwise noted, recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Damon on Twitter @DamonSayles.