GAITHERSBURG — Dorian O’Daniel celebrated his newly-minted status as an NFL player with friends and family members Saturday at Old Town Pour House.
Folks came from Delaware, Ohio, South Carolina and his home state of Pennsylvania to celebrate O’Daniel’s draft selection.
“It’s awesome just to see the turnout and how many people truly support me from the beginning and people that have supported me from the beginning,” said O’Daniel, a Pittsburgh-area native who moved to Montgomery County when he was in middle school.
On Friday night, the Good Counsel product was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the NFL Draft. He was the 100th pick of the draft and the final pick of the night. He went to bed knowing where he would be playing his rookie season.
What’s more, the Chiefs’ selection reunites O’Daniel with his close friend and former Good Counsel teammate Kendall Fuller who was acquired by Kansas City in a trade with the Washington Redskins back in March.
“That’s awesome,” said O’Daniel, “just because Kendall is one of those people that I look at more than a teammate. He’s kind of like a brother.”
The deal between the Redskins and Chiefs sent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington and made Kirk Cousins expendable. Cousins eventually landed in Minnesota where he will throw passes to former Good Counsel standout wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
The Good Counsel contingent in the NFL now includes O’Daniel, Fuller, Diggs, Jelani Jenkins, Louis Young and Blake Countess.
A two-way standout who played running back and linebacker at Good Counsel, O’Daniel was named The Sentinel’s Offensive Player of the Year during his senior campaign at the Olney private school.
During his collegiate career at Clemson, O’Daniel played on the Tigers’ 2017 national championship team and earned numerous individual accolades as a senior last season. He was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebacker and was also named All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
O’Daniel’s strongest supporters included his mother Kerri Wells, stepfather Glenn Wells, godfather Charles Bazier, sisters Hope Wells, Khloe Wells and Victoria O’Daniel, and grandfather Ed O’Daniel.
“I’m so very proud of him because he is such a positive role model for the five other grandsons in the family,” said Andrea O’Daniel, Dorian’s grandmother.
O’Daniel will follow in the foosteps of his maternal grandfather Ed, who was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 1971 NFL Draft out of Texas Southern. However, Ed O’Daniel’s professional career was derailed by injuries.
Ed O’Daniel, a former Avalon assistant coach, beamed with pride about his grandson’s selection by the Chiefs.
“Hopefully other young men realize that with hard work you can become anything,” said Ed O’Daniel. “When he went to Clemson he was behind starters for three years. He didn’t start. He didn’t play and then when he got his shot he showed them what he could do and sometimes that’s what it’s about – just keep working hard, keep plugging at it. Eventually it will happen. I was unfortunate and got hurt so I didn’t fulfill my dreams completely so now my grandson can step up and do it for me.”