Today we check in on one of the junior college guys looking to come in and make some noise right away, #45 Daniel Auelua!
#45, Daniel Auelua, Junior, DL
Height: 6' 2"
High School: Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ
How'd he get to the Blue™?
By spurning Utah State and making the right decision to flip to the Broncos. The Aggies were his other offer, and pulling a kid from USU who grew up in Utah (he's from Highland, UT) is no small feat. I support his decision to leave 100%.
His Twitter handle is @BrownPuppy58, but based on his film above, his bite is definitely worse than his bark.
A young Mark Wahlberg, but with more bulk.
Last season with the T-Birds, he had 39 total tackles, 21 solo, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. In high school, he had 90 total tackles, 29 solo, 10 TFL and 7 sacks in his 3 years on varsity at Lone Peak High School in Highland, UT.
Much like just about every other defensive lineman in this countdown, the field is fairly open. Hoyte has the most experience on the interior line as far as existing players goes. After him, it's wiiiiide open. Moa has plenty of familiarity, just not a ton of playing experience.
That means Daniel is in a GREAT position to move right in alongside Hoyte. His two season at the JUCO level will certainly help his cause. While his experience isn't at the D1 level, it's certainly closer than the experience of the players right out of high school.
Unlike in previous years, the true freshman coming in are just about where they need to be physically to play right away. Not too long ago, it was rare for true freshman to come in and play. They needed that red shirt year to not only learn the system, but to bulk up as well. Hatada, Fesili and Watson are all coming in with plenty of bulk, they just lack the experience.
Sam McCaskill could very easily transition inside to help with experience as he is the most experienced player on the line as a whole. I would almost anticipate this happening until a comfort level is gained by the incoming players, whether that is Daniel or someone else. The faster Daniel identifies himself, the better.
Is he on Twitter?
He's gotta catch 'em all!
Who wanna go catch pokemon with me?— Daniel Auelua❄ (@BrownPuppy58) July 12, 2016
Completely made up fact
Daniel is an award winning Pinewood Derby racer. He's so accomplished, in fact, that he's built life-size balsa wood models that can be ridden in and participates in the underground circuit. But no one knows about that...