At the end of my freshman year I decided that the most important thing for me was to make sure I graduated with my (associate) degree. I don’t know if I could have done that playing football, so it was a tough decision. But I’m graduated and ready to play for BYU this year. —Robertson Daniel
PROVO — The BYU football team’s depth at cornerback is sketchy at best entering the 2013 season, but help could be on the way.
Junior college transfers Sam Lee and Robertson Daniel are set to arrive on campus next week and could both add significantly to the overall depth of BYU's defensive backfield.
Lee signed with the rest of BYU's 2013 recruiting class and will likely compete for the starting boundary corner spot that suffered a huge blow when JC transfer Trent Trammell tore his ACL in spring practices. Weeks after Trammell went down, coaches offered Daniel a scholarship, and he quickly accepted.
Daniel is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive back from De Anza (Calif.) Junior College who first visited BYU in early March after sitting out an entire year to concentrate on academics.
“At the end of my freshman year I decided that the most important thing for me was to make sure I graduated with my (associate) degree,” Daniel explained. “I don’t know if I could have done that playing football, so it was a tough decision. But I’m graduated and ready to play for BYU this year.”
Daniel arrived at De Anza after sitting out half of his senior year at Brenham High School in San Jose, Calif., due to a dispute with the coaching staff there. He had been hearing from schools like San Diego State and San Jose State before deciding to cut his prep career short.
“I don’t really want to get into it, but it was a new coach and we just didn’t see eye to eye on things,” Daniel explained.
During his first year with De Anza, Daniel recorded 90 tackles and six interceptions, playing at both safety and cornerback. Due to academic eligibility issues, schools were consequently hesitant to offer and, for this reason, Daniel decided to sit out the next year to completely focus on academics.
“It worked out well for me and really helped me realize the importance of academics,” Daniel said. “It also made me realize what is most important and I believe BYU is the best place for me to reach my goals. Other schools offered a lot of stuff that I just don’t need, but BYU offers me a clean environment that is serious about football and about academics.”
Daniel has been made fully aware of BYU’s depth problems at cornerback, and he has his eye on contributing immediately.
“I have two years and I want to get going right away,” he said. “I’m going to try and start at that boundary corner position for this season. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I’ve kept in shape and believe I can really help out a lot on the defense.”
Daniel will be coached by BYU defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Nick Howell, which he’s anxious for.
“Coach Howell is someone I’ve really become close to and he’s the perfect coach for me,” he said. “He talks to you like a man and always has good advice. He teaches you every step of the way and makes completely sure that you don’t miss anything.”