Avon High School senior defensive end Elijah Daniel grew up in Alabama, the heart of Southeastern Conference country. Avon coach Mark Bless said that stirred his interest in playing in the SEC.
Late Sunday night, Daniel, a 6-3, 250-pound four-star recruit, committed to the University of Mississippi. Daniel called Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze after returning from an official visit to Arizona State, Bless said. Daniel also considered Florida, Mississippi State and Indiana.
Bless said Ole Miss linebackers coach Tom Allen, the former Ben Davis coach, had been diligent in recruiting Daniel.
"Tom did a super job of selling their program and coach Freeze," Bless said. "It sounds like they do some of the same things we do in Avon (defensive scheme-wise). Elijah felt very at ease around their staff and the players they have there now."
Daniel committed to Clemson during a summer visit, but de-committed later in the fall. Daniel was listed among the ESPN's Top 150 players and No. 2 in Indiana by ESPN and Rivals.com behind Fort Wayne Luers linebacker Jaylon Smith, a Notre Dame recruit. Signing day is Feb. 6.
McCarthy on rise
Hamilton Southeastern junior defensive/offensive tackle Jimmy McCarthy hasn't gotten any Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) offers yet but Royals coach Scott May expects they will be forthcoming.
"He's got a Division I body for sure at 6-5, 250," May said. "He really made strides as a 5A football player last season and has the potential to play at a high level."
McCarthy, who transferred to HSE after spending two years at Heritage Christian, took an unofficial visit to Michigan State and Northwestern coaches visited HSE last week. Iowa, Indiana and Louisville have also shown interest.
Royals junior receiver Cameron Polk recently got an offer from Massachusetts and May said Indiana has also showed interest.
Brownsburg sophomore guard Evan Mallory is drawing attention from Big Ten schools. Small wonder since he's 6-4, 285 and Bulldogs coach Brett Comer expects him to get bigger and stronger.
"His size combined with his athletic ability will allow our offense to continue to grow and become more dynamic," Comer said in an email. "He has very good feet for a young player who also possesses great size. Evan is continuing to get stronger in our weight program."
Mallory recently won the Hoosier Crossroads Conference wrestling title at heavyweight.
Noblesville senior K/P Logan Gray has committed to Division II Walsh. Gray had originally committed to Ted Karras Jr. at Marian but followed him when Karras was hired at Walsh after Marian captured the NAIA national championship in December. . . . Lawrence Central will be presented the Army National Guard national ranking trophy as part of MaxPreps Football Tour of Champions before Friday's night's basketball home basketball game. The Bears, who won the Class 5A state title with a 15-0 mark, finished No. 21 in final MaxPreps rankings. . . . Lawrence Central LB Brandon Lee, of the top Indianapolis-area recruits in class of 2014, picked up an offer from Louisville last week. Lee previously received offers from Indiana, Iowa, Purdue and Kentucky.