Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Katy ISD

Taylor’s twins make impact on D-Line

By STEPHEN GREENWELL, Times Correspondent
Posted 12/11/19

Taylor junior Jordan Daniels asked to switch from wideout and fullback to the defensive line as the Mustangs’ playoff run started last month. While it might seem like an unusual switch to some, he had a couple of good reasons to think he’d excel in the role.

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Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Katy ISD

Taylor’s twins make impact on D-Line

Posted

Taylor junior Jordan Daniels asked to switch from wideout and fullback to the defensive line as the Mustangs’ playoff run started last month. While it might seem like an unusual switch to some, he had a couple of good reasons to think he’d excel in the role.

His twin brother, Marcus, has been a starter at defensive end the whole year, plus Jordan had experience playing defense, although that came two years ago.

“My freshman year, I played outside linebacker, so it’s really nothing new,” Jordan Daniels said.

Marcus added, “He usually played more on the offensive side, and I was more on the defensive side. He used to play fullback and tight end, and I would play D-end and linebacker.”

Taylor defensive coordinator J. Jensen said he brought up the idea of the position change with Jordan Daniels after the team suffered a few injuries in the front seven. Jensen remembered Jordan’s past play on defense as a freshman, and one play in particular stuck in his mind.

“Katy had a fourth-and-1 and he reached across the line of scrimmage and made a tackle for a two-yard loss,” Jensen recalled. “It was a great play, and I kind of always kept that tucked away.”

After several Taylor receivers got healthy and the depth chart was re-arranged as a result, Jensen said they made the switch at the start of the playoffs.

“I went to him and said, ‘Hey man, I know you can play,’” Jensen said. “I went to him and I went to his brother, and I got a call later on that night from Marcus saying, ‘Hey Coach, Jordan’s going to be ready to play. He wants to play defensive end,’ and he’s doing everything we thought he could.

“He always says ‘Yes, sir’ and he’s got a great work ethic. He locks in on film, he learns, he studies. They’re both great football players and conscientious young men.”

In his season debut on defense against bi-district playoff foe Fort Bend Elkins on Nov. 16, Jordan Daniels had seven tackles and a sack. He had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble caused the next week in an area playoff win against Houston Memorial on Nov. 23, and eight tackles, a sack, a fumble caused and a fumble recovery in the regional semifinal win against Humble on Nov. 30.

Unsurprisingly, Marcus Daniels has similarly stellar numbers, with 19 tackles, three sacks and a fumble caused in the same time span. For the season, Marcus has 91 total tackles and seven sacks.

In the Mustangs’ latest playoff game, a 58-20 regional final win against Cypress Creek on Dec. 7, the defense and the line performed strongly, with the Daniels brothers right there in the mix once again.

Cy-Creek was limited to 13 rushing yards on 18 carries, an average of 0.7 yards per carry. Marcus Daniels had eight tackles, including two for a loss, and Jordan Daniels had eight tackles, with three for a loss, a sack, two pass breakups and tipped a pass at the line.

“We really stressed getting our hands up in the passing game, and Jordan batted down a pass on the goal line, so as far as that went we did a great job,” Jensen said. “We had hands up in (the quarterback’s) face the whole day, and it caused some of the high throws early, and then we added on a blitz and we were really able to get some pressure on to him.”

Both Daniels brothers are listed at an imposing 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, with enough speed and power to get through their blocks regularly. Even worse for opposing linemen, they’re more than happy to help each other out.

“I’ve taught him some moves,” Marcus Daniels said. “I’m just trying to make sure I get to the quarterback more and get to my sides.”

Jordan Daniels attributed his success to the coaching staff and the hard work of his teammates on the scout team.

“It comes from practice, and scouting them,” he said.

Jensen also had praise for the scout team, noting it has pushed the varsity in recent weeks to get better.

“The young kids who are giving us the scout look in practice have really cracked up the intensity to try to make a name, and it’s really carrying over to everybody,” he said.

Going forward, Jensen thought his unit still had room to grow as Austin Westlake looms in the state semifinals Saturday, Dec. 14, at McLane Stadium in Waco.

“We’re still improving,” he said. “We still need to do a better job on holding our gap and not peeking, just punching the leverage in the gap and doing our job. The guys are getting better every day and still making improvements, and that’s got us really excited as coaches.”

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