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December 7, 2012

O'Daniel embracing experience

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Dorian O'Daniel knows what an honor it is to be named a U.S. Army All-American. The linebacker from Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel is glad he can share the honor with his teammate, cornerback Kendall Fuller.

"To be chosen for an event like the U.S. Army All-American bowl is really special," said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound O'Daniel. "Playing for the same people that are serving our country is extremely special and I want to dedicate this to them and my family. I'm going to bring all of my talents, the speed and playmaking awareness. I want to try to have fun and compete with the top players in the country one last time. I want to try to embrace that and have a good time.

"Kendall and I have been to pretty much every showcase together. From our first combine in San Antonio to the following years at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and The Opening. Every showcase had some of the top talent in the country and it's something that we look forward to before everyone goes their separate ways to college. I'm excited, Kendall and I are going to be training together and I'm looking forward to it."

O'Daniel was Our Lady of Good Counsel's primary running back and was named first-team all-conference running back, after he racked up 1,307 yards and 18 touchdowns.

"Now that the seasons over I can get my body to where it needs to be physically," said O'Daniel. "I can catch up on all my schoolwork and we had Thanksgiving break and I'm ready to get back in the weight room.

"As the season went on, playing running back kind of got old," he said. "I really enjoy defense more and I take advantage of my experience as a running back and put that to use as a linebacker. I play linebacker as if I'm the running back. It really helps me take the right angles."

O'Daniel has been committed to Clemson for a while now and has been trying to recruit for the Tigers.

"I talk to Robert Nkemdiche one or two times before but I haven't had a chance to speak with him since he de-committed," said O'Daniel. "Ebenezer Ogundeko hit me up on Twitter and told me he was going to go visit Clemson. So we talked about it and saw him when we were at the Clemson and South Carolina game. He's a really good guy and if he wants to join the Clemson family that'd be cool too."

O'Daniel's experience last time he was on campus helped him confirm he had chosen the right school.

"It was a great atmosphere, aside from the loss we took," he said. "The Tiger Walk was really cool and touching Howard's Rock was one of the things you can't wait to get to be a part of."

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