Sport: WVU's Neal Brown: 'High-level' QB J.T. Daniels 'an NFL prospect'

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J.T. Daniels has a ton to prove at his last college football stop, West Virginia. Just don't tell his coach, Neal Brown, who feels that Daniels already profiles as not just a top college football quarterback, but an NFL prospect as well.

West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown had high praise for his new QB. © Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown had high praise for his new QB.

Daniels has made the college football rounds, spending two seasons at USC as well as two at Georgia. He'll be a fifth-year junior for the Mountaineers in 2022, and Brown seems confident that not only can he overcome his history of injuries, but he can live up to his five-star recruiting rating.

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Daniels was the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings as well as the No. 16 overall recruit in the nation. The only quarterback rated higher than him in his class was Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who went No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft.

While Lawrence lived up to his billing as both a college quarterback and NFL prospect, Daniels has floundered in the college ranks. He played 12 games for USC and nine for Georgia. A knee injury knocked him down the depth chart at USC as a sophomore, and once he transferred to the Bulldogs, Stetson Bennett IV beat him out on the depth chart en route to leading Georgia to a national championship trophy.

With one year of eligibility left after transferring to the Mountaineers, WVU is clearly hoping that Daniels be able to live up to his five-star potential as a quarterback. If you were to ask Coach Brown, though, it has nothing to do with hope, as he explaining in an interview with SiriusXM.

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“He never lost a job; he’s been injured,” Brown said, as transcribed by 247Sports. “If you look at his career path, it’s really remarkable. He’s had to deal with pressure since he was a freshman at Mater Dei. One of the top high school programs in the entire country, he starts as a freshman, which has only been done a handful of times. He graduates school, not a semester early, but an entire year early. He starts at USC as a high school senior, essentially, one of only two true-freshman quarterbacks that have started at USC. He does that, has success, wins the job, Graham’s (Harrell) first year, tears his ACL, so injury, transfers to Georgia, still recovering. Gets the job once he’s fully healthy, goes and wins the Peach Bowl, comes from behind, last two-minute drive to win the Peach Bowl vs. Cincinnati. Comes back, wins the job, plays really, really well, South Carolina at home, Vanderbilt at home, gets injured.

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“For him, this is a great opportunity to remind people. Like, I don’t think this is a redemption story, it’s just about reminding him. He’s going to have an opportunity to win the job, an opportunity to potentially be the starter. And it’s about reminding people when he’s played, he’s played at a really high level. And so this is an opportunity for him to remind people that not only is he a high-level quarterback but he’s an NFL prospect."

Although Brown does consider Daniels a potential NFL prospect, it's worth noting that the former five-star will have to compete for the WVU starting job with redshirt sophomore Garrett Greene, a former three-star recruit.

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