April 2, 2009

Daniels looks to impress

Everyone talks about the opportunity that Caleb King and Carlton Thomas have for Georgia with Richard Samuel out and Dontavius Jackson limited with what he can do this spring.

Junior walk-on Kalvin Daniels barely gets a mention. But maybe he should.

Albeit running against the second unit during Monday's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium, Daniels led all rushers with nine carries for 45 yards.

Daniels says he'll play whenever and wherever he's needed.

"I just want to play," Daniels said. "I just want to be out there and do whatever I can to make the team better, whether that's running the ball, special teams, whatever."

His effort thus far has made an impression on new running backs coach Bryan McClendon.

"It shows me that the kid likes to compete and we like guys around here who like to compete not matter what position they play," McClendon said. "He also shows me that he wants to play, just like everybody else, which is an easy motivation factor. You either want to play or you don't and he's definitely one of those guys that wants to play."

After playing in three games as freshman in 2007 when he rushed eight times for 44 yards, Daniels only saw action in one game last fall and did not carry the ball.

He did dress out for all the home games and traveled to three road contests, although the opportunity to play never came.

"It didn't work out, but I still came out and did what I could to try and make the team better," Daniels said. "That's the same thing I'm trying to do now. I try to feed off those guys' (King and Thomas) energy. They're going 100 miles per hour every play so I feel I've got to step up my game just to compete with them."

At 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds, Daniels said he's put on almost 15 pounds since first arriving as walk-on from Dodge County High School.

"I've just been working hard," Daniels said. "I've gotten in a lot better shape at least so I think I've put myself in position to make an impact whenever Coach (McClendon) thinks it's my time."

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