October 15, 2008

Daniel right where he belongs

Chase Daniel always saw himself in this position. He always thought he would be the quarterback for a highly ranked team, taking the field at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, leading his troops into battle on national television in a game that would shape the national title race for the rest of the season. Well, he didn't see himself in exactly this position.

"It had always been about Texas. That's the school I wanted to go to," Daniel said. "I think everyone growing up in the state of Texas wants to go to Texas. So throughout the whole process of course that was it."

Daniel did not initially have that opportunity. But after a late change in plans for Ryan Perrilloux, the Longhorns wanted a second quarterback. And they came back to call on Daniel.

"I think that coach Brown called coach (Southlake Carroll high school coach Todd) Dodge and was like, 'Hey, what would happen if we got back in?'" Daniel recalled. "And coach Dodge was like, 'Hey, you know, I think he's just firmly committed to Missouri,' and I think they said okay. I think it was the night before (signing day) that they actually called."

"There was no way I was going to switch. I had already helped recruit guys that were coming here. What am I going to say to those guys?" he asks now. "That's just not how I was raised. That's not how I was brought up, that's not how I was taught to do things, especially from a high school standpoint with coach Dodge being my coach. He was very against it and there was never a doubt in my mind."

The next August, Daniel won the backup job to Brad Smith during fall camp. He directed a Missouri comeback from ten points down in the final eight minutes against Iowa State, ultimately helping the Tigers land in the Independence Bowl. McCoy redshirted and watched Vince Young lead the Longhorns to a national title. The following season, both became starters, Daniel as a true sophomore, McCoy as a redshirt freshman. While Perrilloux was also a reserve on a national title team, numerous off the field problems eventually led to his dismissal from the LSU program. Meanwhile, Daniel and McCoy each have etched his name among the short list of college football's elite quarterbacks.

"Good for him. Great job that he stayed committed to his school and what a great career he's had," Brown said. "I don't think you could have a better career than Chase has had at Missouri. You want all the kids to go where they want to, but more importantly you want them to go where it works. And it's worked for Chase at Missouri."

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