Ole Miss Commitment Evaluation: Safety Daniel Demery – Sports Illustrated


OXFORD, Miss. – When the Ole Miss coaches finally watch a certain safety commitment come into the football facility, they will be receiving one of the most well-rounded high school football players in the country.
Size: 6’0”, 195-pounds
Position: Safety
School: Dallas (Texas) Parish Episcopal School
Offers came to Demery from far and wide beyond Ole Miss. SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and North Texas State came from inside the state borders, as well as programs that are at least somewhat near like Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Grambling State, and Tulane, and national offers like Washington, Southern California, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan State, Purdue, and Penn State. Demery made his pledge to Ole Miss on May 27.
More About Demery: Commitment Article
Solidly built lower body accentuated by his muscular upper legs. Overall, Demery has a well balanced upper and lower body build, with more room for muscle mass within his upper torso as compared to his lower body.
This is where one can mention numerous categories because Demery uses excellent cutting ability (with or without the ball), power through contact, a natural running stride, nimble side-step moves, and natural hands to pluck an interception, catch a pass or grab a fumble for his high school team.
He plays all over the field for Parish Episcopal School – safety, return man, wide receiver – to help his team win. No matter what he’s doing from a position standpoint, there’s one common denominator from watching Demery’s film.
This guy is just always making the clutch play. If it’s a fumble, Demery not only snags it, he scoops and scores. When his team needs a big play, there’s Demery returning a kickoff for a score or laying the wood to a receiver and dislodging the football. He’s the definition of clutch. Cannot teach that trait.
To the point of being a playmaker, Demery actually catches the football. Many defensive backs fail in this regard and those plays become wasted chances for a turnover. Once the pigskin reaches Demery’s hands, the fun begins.
He weaves his way through traffic in an attempt to hit pay dirt. Demery wants to score every time. That competitive nature helps him after he catches the football and it’s great to watch. Part of the reason for this to happen stems from the following category.
Just because a safety sees the football in the air and possesses a chance to snag it, that does not automatically mean the play will be made. Being in position in the first place, i.e. utilizing the coaching a safety receives, is the first step to success here. He sprints to where the football will be, with no time wasted by way of using a good angle to the ball. That’s always a priority for a defensive player. That’s also how a defensive player helps to create interceptions.
Demery makes a quarterback pay for overthrows, one of the primary reasons a defensive coordinator plays zone coverage. When the football sails over the head of a receiver or tight end, there’s Demery looking right at the football and catching it. He then quickly thinks like an offensive skill player that’s ready to score by way of taking off for the end zone. This well-rounded football player can help the Rebels in a multitude of ways once he’s in Oxford and playing in the SEC.
With Demery’s obviously high football IQ, the Rebels will be fortunate enough to use his skills as more than just an athletic safety. He can play the nickel position, where he’s just as much a linebacker as he’s a safety. Regardless of which player lines up in the slot, there’s Demery, a versatile defender that can accept the challenge because of his intelligence as much as his physical prowess. That’s phenomenal value for Ole Miss. Too many teams are out-flanked because of a lack of diversity within their nickel personnel, which leads to allowing chunk-yardage plays.
His potential nickel capabilities alone show that Demery is worthy of playing dual roles for the Rebels. It’s also a way that he can help get other players on the field at safety that may not hold the same natural abilities in space that he does as a nickel. That’s another added value for Ole Miss via Demery. When talking about his primary role as a safety, he’s also a player that holds different types of usefulness.
Yes, he’s excellent in the deep secondary with picking off passes. That’s great. He’s also adept at playing closer to the line of scrimmage, whenever he’s asked to within a particular play call, and comes downhill at or near the snap of the football in an attempt to create big plays. At that point, he’s a skillful tackler at bringing down a running back or wide receiver in space. Demery simply adjusts quite well no matter the offensive player that’s in front of him, and the defensive play call that comes with the situation. One last point about his talents.
Demery is a natural return man. This is a player that is as patient a returner as one will see, yet he’s running by defenders as soon as there is a crack in the wall of defenders. Do not be surprised if Demery ends up being a part of the return men that line up deep for Ole Miss.
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