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Northern Michigan OL Jace Daniels of Escanaba joining Tampa Bay Buccaneers
April 28, 2013 - Matt Wellens
MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University senior offensive lineman Jace Daniels of Escanaba has accepted a rookie tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after not being selected over the weekend in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The NMU senior 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman started all 11 games for NMU during his junior and senior years as a left tackle, earning All-GLIAC second-team honors in 2011 and first-team accolades in 2012.
Daniels said the Buccaneers plan to keep him at his natural position of offensive tackle for now, but if that doesn't work, he'll be moved inside to guard or center.
Leading up to the draft, Daniels said teams were interested in him as a center, a position he had not played since high school
Daniels graduated from Escanaba High School in 2009 where he was an All-Upper Peninsula and All-Great Northern Conference honoree in football. He won’t graduate from NMU until December.
Besides the Buccaneers, Daniels and his agent, John Perez of Perez Sports Associates in New Jersey, had been in touch with the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers leading up to the draft, but the Bucs stuck with Daniels.
The Buccaneers traded their first-round pick, 13th overall, in this year's draft to the New York Jets for cornerback Derrelle Revis, then went on to select Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks in the second round, N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon in the third round, Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence and Michigan State defensive end William Gholston in the fourth round, Buffalo defensive end Steven Means in the fifth round and Miami running back Mike James in the sixth round.
NFL.com identified cornerback, tight end, defensive line, quarterback and wide receiver as needs for the Buccaneers going in the 2013 draft, prior to the trade for Revis.
Under first-year head coach Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay finished last in the NFC South in 2012 at 7-9, which was also the record for the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. The Bucs came in last due to a 4-8 record against NFC opponents.
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NMU senior offensive lineman Jace Daniels. (NMU photo)