AVON, Ind. -- One of the biggest questions surrounding national signing day in the Indianapolis area was the status of Avon High School defensive end Elijah Daniel. The 6-4, 250-pound defensive end committed to Mississippi in January after previously committing to Clemson. Then last weekend he took a visit to Auburn, which raised more questions.
Avon coach Mark Bless wasn't sure as late as Tuesday night which school the highly sought Daniel would choose. Daniel, dressed in an Auburn pullover and stocking hat, officially faxed his letter of intent to Auburn at 7:01 a.m. Wednesday.
"It was mainly (Auburn) because of my family and me knowing (defensive line coach Rodney Gardner) for a long time," said Daniel, who is from Alabama. "Me and my family came to an agreement (Tuesday) that it was the best choice for me."
Daniel, ranked No. 51 nationally in the senior class in the composite rankings from 247sports.com, said he came away from his Auburn visit with a favorable impression of the program. But he also had strong feelings for Ole Miss and the connection he had established there.
"It was a real tough decision," he said. "I really liked Ole Miss. But after talking with my family, they convinced me Auburn was the better place for me."
Daniel's older brother, Montez Robinson, played at Georgia under Gardner, who was hired at Auburn last month and has a reputation as a strong recruiter.
"They expect me to come in right away and help with pass rushing," Daniel said.
If Daniel could do it all over again, he said he would have taken more time in the recruiting process. He regrets that he committed twice before ultimately signing with Auburn.