Mike Daniels is an all-around athlete who despite being a star in all of discus, shot put, football and wrestling while in high school, decided to shelve the other sports and build a career in football. Today, he plays in the National Football League (NFL) as a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers.
Mike Daniels’ Early Life
Born Michael Wayne Daniels Jr. on May 5, 1989, the footballer got involved in sports as a young child. During his time at Highland Regional High School in New Jersey, he excelled in different sports, becoming a three-year letterman in wrestling and a qualifier in the discus (43.77m or 143’06). Mike also threw the shot put (17.95m or 58’09) at the New Jersey Meet of Champions and played in the school’s football team as a running back and defensive tackle.
He had a record of 41 tackles and six sacks during his sophomore year, 84 tackles and nine sacks in his junior year and 97 tackles and 12 sacks in his senior year. His performance during his senior year earned him first team all-conference honors. He was also named team captain two times.
By the end of his high school stint, Mike Daniel had recorded 2,203 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. Rivals.com rated him as a two-star prospect.
The player received scholarship offers from only Iowa and Temple universities. He chose Iowa where he studied Sociology while also playing for the Hawkeyes football team. He was redshirted in the first year as a true freshman and at the expiration of the redshirt, Mike Daniels was not listed on the depth chart after spring practice. However, he was able to record his first sack, two solo tackles and an assisted tackle, as a college player in a game against the Florida International University Golden Panthers.
As a sophomore, he participated in all 13 games played that season, making 10 tackles including 1.5 for a loss. He played in all the games during his junior season, starting eight of them. He earned Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the week honors as a result of his outstanding performance in the game against Ball State. By the time his junior season was over, Mike earned a spot on the All-Big Ten team.
During his final season, Daniels played 13 games, starting all at defensive tackle. He also led the team in tackles for loss and sacks and made 32 solo tackles. His exceptional play in his last season secured him a place on the second team All-Big Ten team by the coaches and media. He was equally named to the Pony Express Award preseason watch list in addition to being named a third-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele.
In 2011, the Green Bay Packers took notice of Mike Daniels when they were looking at other defensive linemen from his college. By the time he was set for the 2012 NFL Draft, the team picked him in the fourth round (132nd overall).
Daniels featured in 14 games during his rookie season in 2012. He made 12 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass defended, and 2 fumble recoveries. The following season, he played 16 games and garnered 28 tackles and 6.5 sacks. In 2014, he took part in 16 games, starting all the games – recording 47 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
The player kept on showing obvious improvements with each game and on December 14, 2015, he signed a 4-year contract extension worth $42 million. He concluded the season with 49 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 passes defended, and 1 forced fumble.
His fellow players ranked him 95th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 and on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017, he took the 84th position. At the close of the 2017 season, the defensive end was rewarded with his very first Pro Bowl appearance. He also replaced Aaron Donald at the 2018 edition of the Pro Bowl.
Family, Wife & Kids
The NFL star was born to Cariene and Michael Daniels. He was born and raised in Stratford, New Jersey alongside his younger brother, Sean, who also plays football for the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul. Sean played for the same high school as his big brother but continued his college career with Temple Owls football team at Temple University while Michael moved to Iowa at the time.
Mike Daniels got married to Heaven Daniels on July 12, 2014. Heaven grew up in Iowa City where she met her husband who attended college there. It was love at first for the couple and they have been inseparable since the first night they met.
Daniels’ wife, a multi-talented lady, is a TV Talk Show Host on Fox 11’s statewide show The Better Half, a professional makeup artist, published singer/songwriter, certified Zumba instructor, beauty vlogger and lifestyle blogger to mention but a few.
The beautiful lady received her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and Vocal Performance and later bagged an MA in early childhood education.
Mike Daniels and Heaven’s marriage has produced four children. His first three children, two boys, and a girl, all share the same birthday as they were all born on August 3. According to Daniel, it just happened. They would all have had different birthdays but the oldest was one week late, the second oldest was two weeks early while the third child was right on time. The fourth child was born in 2018. She did make the August cut off, but not the same day.
Height & Weight
The Packers defensive end and father of four weighs 141 kg (310 lb) and measures 6 feet in height (1.83m). Even though Mike is as big as most players, he uses that to his advantage to get inside of blockers.