After mulling offers from about 30 college football programs, Good Counsel All-Metropolitan linebacker Dorian O'Daniel has committed to play for Clemson University.
It has been a hectic weekend for O'Daniel. On Friday morning, April 13, he accompanied his mother for two campus visits. The first was the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. By early evening, O'Daniel and his mother Kerri, who teaches special education at Gaithersburg High School, arrived at Clemson.
That evening, O'Daniel was joined by standout wide receiver Sammy Watkins and two other players for dinner. The next day he toured the campus, met with academic advisors, and watched the Tigers' spring game with highly-recruited 2013 running back prospect Derrick Green from Hermitage High School, located just outside of Richmond, Va. On Saturday evening, the O'Daniels and the Greens had dinner with Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney and several assistant coaches.
After the conversations, O'Daniel felt it was time to informed his mother and the coaches of his intentions. Recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott nearly choked on his drink, surprised by O'Daniel's decision to attend Clemson.
"I went outside with Coach Scott and [defensive coordinator Brent] Venables and they asked, 'Are you sure this is what you want to do. Are you all in?' O'Daniel recalled. "I assured them I was."
This was O'Daniel's second visit to Clemson. He attended the school's Junior Day in February and also made unofficial visits to the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland.
"My first impression [of Clemson] wowed me, and I got the same vibe the second time as I did the first time," O'Daniel said. "I felt that I was where I needed to be. My personality is Clemson."
When news began to spread on Saturday night about O'Daniel's commitment to Clemson, his cell phone was constantly ringing. Nearly everyone he spoke with was surprised he had chosen Clemson, which did not have a D.C.-area player on its roster last season. O'Daniel is the third Good Counsel junior to make his college commitment, as wide receiver Andre Levrone and quarterback Brendan Marshall have committed to Virginia.
"I'm the first person to come out of Good Counsel and go to Clemson, so maybe I can start a pipeline," said O'Daniel, adding that he plans to work on All-Met wide receiver-defensive back Kendall Fuller. "It's the ACC, [and] I'll be playing against Andre Levrone. So maybe I can catch him coming over the middle or maybe sack the quarterback."