UTC's Danny Ring Wants the Ultimate Ring

Saturday, August 2, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

UTC defensive lineman Daniel Ring has a Southern Conference championship ring, but wants to believe a national championship ring will fit that much better.

It has a certain ring to it doesn’t it?

The redshirt junior started 10 games a year ago with 42 tackles, two quarterback sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

“We have a veteran defensive line and if we can stay healthy we should be really good,” said Ring after Friday's practice at Scrappy Moore Field.

Really good as in one of the best in the nation.

Head coach Russ Huesman and defensive line coach Marcus West have the veteran line they need to be a playoff contender.

The Mocs front shows fifth year seniors in Zach Rayl and All-American Davis Tull, fourth year juniors in Josh Freeman and Ring and sixth year senior Derek Lott.

But wait, there’s more with redshirt sophomores Vantrell McMillan and Keionta Davis (Red Bank HS) who started four games last season and redshirt freshman D.J. Prather.

Huesman plans to redshirt senior Toyvian Brand

“Danny is a guy who does everything you ask and does it as hard as he can,” said coach West with a smile.

“He is always where he is supposed to be and doing what he is supposed to do.”

“Doing what he is supposed to do” translates to causing havoc with the opposing team’s offense.

A disciplined lineman, Ring has been that way since high school with a 4.0 grade point average in the Honors Program at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Florida where he was all-county before spending two years at the Naval Academy.

“I had a great opportunity to attend the Naval Academy and play football (started three games in 2012), but I found out that attending an academy for four years just wasn’t for me,” Ring stated.

Navy defensive coordinator and former Mocs head coach Buddy Green gave Ring a “ringing endorsement” to coach Huesman - “Buddy said he hated to lose Danny” – and much the same came from Ring’s high school coach which made the transfer process an easy one.

But the two years at the academy were far from a wash as he started and helped lead the Midshipmen to a victory against West Point and served one summer in the Bahamas.

“Starting as a freshman in an Army-Navy game was the ultimate for a football player at either academy and a wonderful experience with the big crowd and a national television audience,” Ring stated.

Playing Battleship on a Large Scale: One summer he was stationed on a carrier in the Bahamas and the simulated strategy was to seek and destroy enemy submarines and at the same time not be sunk by enemy fire from other midshipmen in staged maneuvers.

“It wasn’t too bad a summer being in the Bahamas on the ship for four days and then I could get home (Lighthouse Point, Fla.) during my days off,” Ring said with a smile.

While in the Navy he learned the correct way to work as a team in seeking out and destroying the enemy with fire power, so it is here at UTC with a veteran and talented front line to destroy the opposing offense with fumble recoveries, sacks, tackles for a loss and interceptions.

Ring and Company know how to help tally up the turnovers (+6 in 2013) and plenty of key stops and a disruption of the various opposing offenses in 2014 will hopefully translate into another ring  for the Blue and Gold – one that reads NCAA champion.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

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