Michael Daugherty is the unquestioned leader and spark-plug of the 8th grade D1 Grayson Rams. His dynamic versatility is featured on offense and defense as a two-way standout at running back, wide receiver, and outside linebacker. Daugherty is an explosive athlete with great size for the class of 2023 at 5’10, 150lbs. His development into a star athlete combined with his elite football IQ sets him apart as one of the most promising young players in the country. Daugherty was selected to participate in the 8th grade Under Armor All American game in Orlando, Florida on January 2nd.
In 2015, an assistant coach of the 10U Grayson Rams noticed Daugherty’s athleticism at the elementary school Field Day. After being approached about trying out for football, Daugherty soon realized his athleticism carries over to the gridiron. His niche had always been Tae-Kwon-Do, so the hand-eye coordination helped the blue belt transition into a promising football player quickly. “Football has been a way for me to express myself” said Daugherty. “One day out of the week for a couple of months you can let go of everything that’s been troubling you and let it all out. It’s a productive outlet that I really like to focus on”
Even though he’s only been playing football since 2015, his skillset and decision-making on the field has many thinking he’s a lifelong protégé. Learning from the best at camps such as Future Stars, Pro Football Hall of Fame and NextGen helped Daugherty excel in such a short amount of time.
In the game against divisional rival South Gwinnett, Daugherty made his impact on defense with several game-changing hits. A special play this season saw him light up the South Gwinnett ball carrier into the sidelines bench area after an outside run. The big defensive play sent the Grayson faithful onto their feet and provided a sense of life in the Rams comeback victory. In the game against Lawrenceville, his offense sparked the comeback. Daugherty broke two tackles on a lead run and raced 90 yards into the end-zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
“Defense is where I strive at but I can help my school on both sides of the ball and play wherever the coach needs.” explained Daugherty. “I have a wide field vision. I’m able to diagnose situations quickly and get to the ball on defense. My football IQ is something I take pride in,” explained Daugherty. “A lot of people around the community compare me to Robert Nkemdiche. If I were going to compare myself to someone it would be to my idol Owen Pappoe, the No. 1 LB nationally up at Grayson High School. He’s a fast and physical linebacker that can diagnose plays really well.”
It’s easy to stay positive on the field when you’re winning, but Daugherty’s leadership is shining in times of adversity during a tough season. Daugherty is impressing in the classroom with four A’s and two B’s this semester. All signs are pointing towards him being the next elite prospect out of Grayson.