Daniel earned all-state recognition at guard after captaining Longview’s state championship team in 1937. Called "one of the most coachable boys in my experience" by fellow Hall of Famer Pete Shotwell, he was described by the sportswriters who voted him all-state as the greatest lineman in Texas schoolboy history. Daniel went on to star at Texas, where he became the school's first all-American in 1941 after leading the Longhorns to an 8-1-1 season as a senior. Hours after his final game with the Longhorns, a 71-7 win over Oregon, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Though he was drafted the following spring by the NFL's Chicago Cardinals, he never played professionally after entering the Army in 1942. He was killed in a plane crash during training in 1943.