He's superstitious, but doesn't like the word superstitious.
Daniel, Mizzou's 6-foot, 225-pound Heisman frontrunner, likes things a certain way: His closet is organized by color. Before he exits for the field, the clothes in his locker have to be perfectly hung and his shoes straight. He prepares for games by doing the exact routine, starting on Friday afternoon, by sitting in a ice tub with his backup, Chase Patton, and going through new plays—he calls them "Cold Tub Confessionals." He and Chase always stay in the same hotel room—215—and always go through all their seasonlong completions before hitting the sack. Daniel's pregame meal is always the same, too: Grilled chicken, green beans, and baked potato with butter. His mom, Vickie, has her own routine: Finding a heads-up penny on the ground before games. But for whatever reason, Daniel prefers not to use the word superstitions to describe these habits. "I like to call them traditions," he says, smiling.
He answers the question "Who are the 10 most famous people in your iPhone?" with 11 names.
USC QB Mark Sanchez, former pro QB Chris Weinke, Purdue QB Curtis Painter, Colorado tailback High Charles, USC QB Brian Cushing, Iowa QB Jake Christensen, Texas A&M fullback Jorvorskie Lane, Packers WR Jordy Nelson, Raiders RB Darren McFadden, former Tennessee QB Tee Martin, and some guy named "Izzy."
He has a habit of leaving his wallet in his car.
He does not seem concerned about his F150 being broken into. "It's Columbia," he says.
He hits snooze an average of five times before waking up.
Yet, he's still early to his 7 a.m. quarterback meetings.
The screensaver on his iPhone is Mizzou's football logo.
He found a hockey stick on the floor of his off-campus apartment the other day.
His two roommates had partied hard the night before. As Daniel picked it up and threw it onto a coach, he was asked who it belonged to. "No idea," he said. How did it get there? "No idea," he said. Ah, college.
He likes big, heavy, flashy steel watches.
He was in a Columbia jeweler recently and tried on all kinds of Reactor watches, even posing with them four feet back from a mirror to see how they fit. He ended up passing on buying one, however, so that he could afford to get his girlfriend, Blaire Vandiver, a white gold ring with a tanzanite rock for their one-year anniversary on Oct. 11. (Shhh—don't tell Blaire!)