Brandon McDaniel signs with University of Arkansas Rich Mountain

May 15—Brandon McDaniel will soon be blocking goals from a college goalie box.

The McAlester senior signed his letter of intent Monday to join the soccer team at The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain in Mena, Arkansas, after his high school graduation on Saturday.

McDaniel said he felt great about becoming a college athlete.

"It's always been a dream for me and it's something I've seriously set my mind to these past few years," he said.

McDaniel said he chose Rich Mountain because "it was a perfect fit with everything I had in a checkbox for college. As well as how the coaches made it feel as a family and not just a college team."

When he's not on the field, McDaniel plans on majoring in business administration. He also has many other goals he hopes to achieve.

"I am setting a goal to become the best player I can be. I want to be a record holder for the most clean sheets," he said.

McDaniel has been playing sports since he was five years old, and his love for soccer has only grown through the years.

"My favorite part about (soccer) is being able to stop everyone's dream of a perfect shot with a perfect save," he said.

When reflecting on his favorite soccer memories from his high school career, McDaniel talked about he and the Buffaloes winning the 2023 Wagoner Tournament.

"We won all three games 1-0 and (it) was a really tense tournament," he said.

McDaniel acknowledged his parents as being his biggest supporters.

"My dad who passed away last year had always been my supporter as long as I had my heart into what I was doing. I know he is still supporting me to this day," he said. "My mom supports me by whichever means necessary by paying for competitive club and dealing with all of the turf burns and finger problems I would get."

And the biggest piece of advice McDaniel would give to young athletes?

"Put your whole heart into it," he said. "Whether it's sports or not, always put 110% in."