Loganville (Ga.) Grayson athlete Michael Daugherty knows he is in a very fortunate position as a rising sophomore recruit in the class of 2023 who has close to 20 offers already – and not just any offers, but offers from big-time programs such as Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Texas and Southern Cal.
“I feel like it’s a blessing, of course, given by God,” Daugherty said of all the early college attention he is getting. “But I think it’s humbling to see those schools that are big-time that take the time out of their day to reach out and offer somebody like me kind of at the beginning of their recruitment stage, and there’s people out here who get to their senior year and don’t even have an offer. So, that’s really big for me, but it’s always been a motivator just to take a step forward.”
Clemson rarely offers recruits as young as Daugherty, but he is drawing interest from the Tigers and on their radar for the 2023 class. The 6-foot, 160-pounder attends the same school, Grayson High, that current Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn was the head coach at for 16 years before joining Dabo Swinney’s staff.
“Clemson has always really been there considering the fact that I can get in touch with my coach and get in touch with Coach Conn and go up there and visit,” Daugherty said. “But that’s definitely a place I plan to visit coming up when corona and all this quarantine stuff dials down.”
Daugherty loves the success Clemson’s program has had on the field and with sending players to the NFL, and he looks up to one of the Tigers’ most recent draft choices, Atlanta Falcons 2020 first-round selection A.J. Terrell.
“It’s always been a program producing championships and producing champions,” Daugherty said. “They have a lot of draft picks year in and year out and they had a real good first-rounder in A.J. Terrell, who I used to train with over at iDareU (Academy Inc.). So, that was a good experience, just knowing somebody you were right there with at times is going to be at the next level and is really like a role model. A.J. is a great guy, so being able to see that is great.”
Along with Clemson, Daugherty is planning to check out plenty of other schools after the NCAA ends its dead period, which was recently extended through July 31.
“Schools that I’ve been talking with my mother and father about going to visit after the dead period is over and quarantine is lifted and we can go visit schools is definitely UGA, LSU, Texas, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Alabama, FSU, Florida, and if I can go out West, I’ll try to go to USC and Arizona State,” he said. “Those are some great schools that are showing interest early, and I think that I do need to go out there and visit those schools when this is all over.”
Daugherty is listed as an athlete by the major recruiting services but will be a defensive back at the next level.
“It has me listed as an athlete, but in all reality, I play the defensive side of the ball,” he said. “I take reps and what not and sub in sometimes in games at receiver, but I’m really a DB and really a corner when it comes down to it even though I’ll move all throughout the secondary. I think that’s one of my strongest suits because I can play all three spots in the secondary.”
Daugherty’s already lengthy offer list figures to keep on growing moving forward, and he hopes to see the Tigers one day decide to give him one of the select few offers they extend in each cycle.
“It would mean a lot because that offer doesn’t just go to anybody,” he said. “It goes to people they’ve been looking at for a long time and watching develop. So, that’s one of the sweeter offers because you know you’ve earned it. Dabo says himself, he doesn’t just offer anyone. He can see a five-star and not offer him just because of his star rating, but he can see like a three-star and give it to him because of all of what he’s seen and what he likes and what he wants to coach. So, that to me is a big plus.”
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