Photo credit: Ryan Daly Twitter, ESPN300
Written by Drew Johnson (@RealNews102)
It all starts in the trenches at the Prep level and 2024 defensive tackle prospect Ryan Daly has embraced what it means to be a Trench Monster. He’s developed into an ESPN 3-star recruit with multiple Division 1 offers since transferring from IMG Academy to Venice High School for his senior season. Daly credits a late growth spurt, the daily grind throughout his high school career, and coaching from Trech Academy this year that has aided his progression into a problem for opposing offenses.
“The recruitment process for me was really slow when I was younger,” Daly said. “Think I was overlooked because I didn’t have that growth spurt. Once I hit that spurt, put out some good film, and went to a bunch of camps, I started getting that attention I was really looking for at the end of my junior year.”
Daly, now playing in his final high school season has wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines as he’s recorded 58 total tackles with 5.0 sacks and double-digit tackles for loss to add. The 6’2, 280-pound DT prospect has a great first step and good instincts that he uses to get past various linemen builds to rack up tackles in the backfield.
Daly also has displayed good strength this fall season, combined with solid hand work and decent technique to win reps. Here’s his breakdown of his overall impact on the game.
“I trust my instincts whenever I play,” Daly said. “Instincts is pretty much the main thing that I go off. If I see he’s heavy in his stance I’ll hit him (offensive linemen) with a quick swim. That’s led to our team success and ultimately the stat line is going to come with it.”
When you can set the tone in the trenches on film and present the build/frame Daly has to college coaches, the offers start to roll in. He’s picked up 5 total D1 offers since his junior season, including Duke, USF, St. Thomas University, Valpo University, and Presbyterian.
Daly shares his thoughts on each program and the relationship developed with the coaching staff.
Duke: Coach Elko (Duke HC) is a fantastic coach. Even when I’m talking to other schools they say Coach Elko is the guy. Coach Jess Dempson, the defensive line coach who was at the Atlanta Falcons for a while is a great coach too. He’s produced a lot of great talent, even when he was at Miami. Those guys are just the right people to be around. I really like and respect the program and they’ve been doing good this year so it’s amazing to watch the next steps. It’s a great team camaraderie and feels like a brotherhood.
*Has taken three visits to Duke.
USF: USF is a great program and I feel like they are on the rise with Coach Golesh. I went to the game with them and Rice a couple of weeks ago and talked with him for like 40 minutes in his office 1 on 1. He’s that down-to-earth kind of guy. He’s definitely a coach I would love to play for. And Coach KP (Kevin Patrick DL coach) the defensive line coach is an animal. He’s produced some great talent and he was a great player as well.
*Visited home game vs. Rice
Valpo: Good Division I program. I really like the school, haven’t been on campus yet but they have been reaching out a lot and staying in touch week by week.
Presbyterian: They were my first offer. Great program again that’s on the rise with a new coaching staff. I haven’t been on campus yet but I would love to go.
For the high school season, Venice had a rough 0-2 start but has won every game since and is 5-2 heading into a non-district home game against Palmetto High (4-2) on Friday. The Indians have a slate of competitive matchups to end the season with Palmetto mentioned and also IMG White (6-0) and Clearwater Academy International (3-4) who have seemed to find their groove. Despite all of that, Daly believes his team has grown more together and will hopefully finish the 2023 season as 4S District state champions.
“Those are three really good programs, strong and physical up front,” Daly said. “I just like our guys. We’ve put in work since the last school year ended. We have all been invested in this for a long time and it’s really going to pay off later in the season with how long we’ve been working for this.”
Plenty of time for Daly to develop his technique more to find himself on a Power 5 defensive line roster. The senior closed out his recruiting interview by thanking his family, various coaches/trainers from throughout the years, the Venice program embracing him for his senior season, and the Trench Academy (Coach Taylor & Coach Joseph) for getting his game right.
FULL UNEDITED INTERVIEW: StreamYard – Watch