CollegeFootballNews.com 2012 Preview - Temple Owl Depth Chart
Who was second with four?
The answer could be a bit surprising as true freshman Sean Daniels totaled more than many of his more heralded teammates, including former Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year Adrian Robinson.
It was even a surprise to defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, who joined the Owls a year ago, when it was brought up how productive Daniels was in limited time as a true freshman.
Last year, Daniels didn't build on his first season, totaling just one tackle in nine games.
"That's been a failure for us, not doing the job, getting him where he can be more productive," said Heater. "He has some ability and some talent."
But Daniels didn't blame anybody but himself for the decline.
"Last year was definitely a learning experience, and I have to grow from it," said Daniels. "I need to mature, I need to carry things I do on the field off the field as well. It was a humbling experience. The coaching staff. …It was nothing on them, they brought everything out of me.
"It was a personal thing. They pushed me every day to do my best, they drove me, I basically shot myself in the foot."
Daniels flashed his potential in the spring-closing Cherry and White Game at Lincoln Financial Field, totaling two sacks, including one on fourth down at the goal line that sealed the win for his side.
"I can carry over what I did in the spring into training camp and into the season," said Daniels. "The spring game definitely got me back up there and let me know I can play football at this level and I think it can catapult me."
A linebacker in high school, Daniels has worked at both defensive end and linebacker at Temple, but feels he is best suited at end, where he will contend this year for playing time with Marcus Green, among others.
"I feel comfortable at both, but I'm more comfortable with my hand in the dirt," said Daniels. "It feels more natural down there, and it's where I think I can play to my full potential."
Daniels was close with Robinson, who is now in the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The junior and South Jersey native is looking to continue the legacy left by Robinson and Morkeith Brown, who will go to camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It started when I was in high school, (Robinson) hosted me on my visit and we hit it off," said Daniels. "When I got here, everybody told me ‘You're just like Adrian,' it was like he was my older brother.
"I feel like Morkeith and Adrian left a stamp on what the defensive end position should be, and we're going to raise that standard and keep going."
Daniels admitted last year's lost season is motivating. He said he recently spoke with his brother Mike, a defensive tackle who just finished his career at Iowa and was signed by the Green Bay Packers, about the need for both of them to shine when training camps begin in a few weeks.
"There's nothing but a big chip on my shoulder," said Daniels. "I'm mad at myself and I'm only going to use that. I'm just going to go out and win every day.
"Talking to Mike, he's coming off a shoulder injury, but we were just saying we have to come out in training camp and shock and wow everybody."
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