OMG at IMG: Big recruit ready to hit the field

- When Daniel Faalele stepped onto IMG Academy's football field last August, other players gasped.

"Wow! He's huge,” offered IMG cornerback Micah Abraham.

"Have you guys seen Daniel?” IMG quarterback Artur Sitkowski said with a smile. "He's about 6-foot-9, 400 pounds!"

"It's everywhere we go,” offered IMG cornerback Micah Abraham. "People just look at him and say, ‘Wow he's big!’ I have to look up at him too. He's so tall."

"He's just one of those freakish guys that God blessed,” added IMG head coach Kevin Wright.

When Daniel arrived at IMG, he had never seen an American football game played. He still has yet to play one down in a game and he already has 22 Division I scholarship offers.

"He's had to learn everything from what a first down is, to what a yard is, and all those things,” continued Wright. "Now he can tell you about protection schemes. He understands defenses. It's just learning the process."

Daniel spent all last football season soaking it in from the sidelines.

"He came and said, ‘Coach, can I just practice?’ And he was our 'water boy' during the games,” laughed Wright. "He might have been the biggest water boy ever on record in football at any level. When he came out to get water, I'd see other teams look up at him – ‘What is this guy doing?’ Now it's an opportunity to play." 

Coaches and recruiters come from all over to get a glimpse of the giant former rugby player from Australia trying his hand at a new game.

"I love football,” grinned Daniel.

What excites him the most?

"Just dominating the other team,” he continued.  "Dominating one on one. Just me against the D-end. Run block, pass block. It's just a feeling that I can't explain. It's just a feeling of feeling great."

"I think he's pretty good, just from a physical standpoint,” offered Wright. "He's one of those guys that if he takes the right couple steps and gets on you, he's hard to get off. He understands everyday he's got to come out here and continue to work."

Daniel will tip the scales even further for IMG's offensive line this season -- a line that last year already outweighed the Atlanta Falcons and L.A. Rams. His quarterbacks couldn't be happier. They treat him well and take him out to dinner.

"I wish they'd do it more often,” Daniel smiled.

If he plays as strong as he looks, Daniel won't have to pay for too many more dinners in the future.

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