Fan favorite and starting flanker Cory Daniel will be staying in DC. The 27-year-old wrestling convert has had a meteoric rise in MLR, working his way into a starting spot after three years with the team and becoming the leading tackler in the league last season. His growth has been exciting and is set to continue in DC.
It cannot be summed up just how quickly Daniel has taken to the sport. When he joined Old Glory, he was essentially brand new to the sport. As a long-time wrestler he had a leg up in tackling. However, he had to learn the rest of it as he went. He didn't play at all in the shortened 2020 season, but in 2021 he got 8 caps and was a clear part of the starting lineup by the end of the season. If not for an injury in the final stretch, he could have played even more. 2022 was his real breakout year, though. With 15 caps, 13 starts, and 1034 minutes, Daniel became a mainstay on the team.
The statistics back up his prowess too. He put in 255 tackles, more than any other player in the league, and did so with a 91% success rate, which is excellent. He also made many of those in dominant positions, often flying off the line and delivering strong hits behind the gain line. On attack he was a solid runner, with 592 meters on 66 carries, with four tries to go with it.
One of the most exciting things about Daniel is that he clearly isn't at his ceiling yet. There are still moments when his inexperience shows through and where he could better optimize his game. To help him improve, he was sent to practice with the Glasgow Warriors in Scotland this offseason, the same program that helped reshape Jack Iscaro into a powerhouse. I'm excited to see what 2023 has in store for Cory Daniel.
Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2023 Signings Tracker for all the updates!