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Donnell Daniel

Inducted 2003

Larkin High School Class of 1980


After starring for the Larkin High School football team, which made the 1979 Class 5A state semifinals, Daniel went on to attend Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.  He was named all-conference as a freshman and sophomore and then transferred to Southern Illinois.  He was a two-year starter for the Salukis at cornerback.  He had 11 career interceptions, including seven in 1983 when the Salukis went 13-1 and won the NCAA Division 1-AA national title.  That season, Daniel returned three interceptions for touchdowns and also returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown, the second longest return in school history.  He currently ranks third in most punt returns in a season with 28 in 1983.   His 8.4 yards-per-return average ranked second in the Missouri Valley Conference that season.  He was named All-MVC his senior year.  Daniel went on to play professionally for the Chicago Blitz in the United States Football League and won a game ball from coach Marv Levy after returning a punt for a touchdown in a 49-21 win over the Los Angeles Express.  Daniel’s contract was then purchased by the New Jersey Generals where he played with Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie.  He had to retire after suffering a broken shoulder.