Randall McDaniel: The Best (Photo: ASU)
We've covered the best of the best so far on the 100-Day Sun Devil Countdown to Kickoff list. Now it's time to take it up a notch to the best of the best of the best.
Born in Phoenix, this native son attended Agua Fria High School, where his immense athleticism made him a star on both the football and basketball teams, as well as posting a 10.6 second time in the 100 meters in track. He received several scholarship offers, but chose to stay home and play for the Sun Devils.
His impact was immediate. McDaniel initially was a tight end before moving inside to offensive guard, and his unparalleled athleticism made him a starter during his first season in 1984.
Standing 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds by his sophomore season, McDaniel was simply a marvel. Ron Jones, ASU's strength coach at the time, remembers McDaniel's ability.
"He can bench 425, incline 375, dead lift 650, and he's squatted 640 in competition. Besides that, he runs a 4.68 40, has just 9% body fat and has a one step vertical leap of 37 inches."
Wow. That athleticism was jaw-dropping on it's own, but was nothing compared to what he did with it on the field.
McDaniel become the leader of ASU's fabled "Home Boys" offensive line, and by 1986, he had become a first team All-American and won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10's best offensive lineman. He dominance along the line was a critical factor in ASU's subsequent Pac-10 and Rose Bowl championships. The following year in 1987, McDaniel became a consensus selection as an All-American.
2012 ASU Season Preview
In the 1988 NFL Draft, he went with the 19th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings, where all he did was make 12 consecutive Pro Bowls, seven All-Pro selections and established himself as arguably the greatest guard the entire sport has ever seen.
Like Mike Haynes, McDaniel has the rare and prestigious distinction of being in both the College Hall of Fame (Class of 2008), and the Professional Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2009).
In addition to his gridiron greatness, McDaniel has also earned considerable praise for his work in the community, and enriching the lives of children.