HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Life is good these days for Hartsville native Tony McDaniel.
The 6-foot-7, 305-pound defensive tackle is coming off the best season of his 8-year NFL career in which he helped lead the Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl title. In March, he agreed to a two-year deal with the Seahawks worth a maximum of $6.3 million.
“Yeah, things are pretty good right now,” said McDaniel, who returned to his hometown this weekend to serve as the grand marshal for Saturday’s Butler Heritage Week Parade. “It’s good to be home for a little while, spend time with family and see some people I haven’t seen in a while.”
On Friday, the Tony McDaniel Big Hearts Foundation sponsored and served a meal at the Hartsville Soup Kitchen before holding a free community cookout that afternoon.
“Growing up I wasn’t that fortunate,” McDaniel said. “So now that I am in a position where I am able, I just want to try and find ways to give back.”
McDaniel and the Seahawks wrapped up mini camp June 27 and will report to training camp July 25. Despite a whirlwind offseason, he said he’s in good shape and looking forward getting into camp.
“Physically, I think I’m ready to go right now,” McDaniel said. “Our defense looks pretty serious, and I think we have a good chance of going all the way again.”
After signing a one-year deal with Seattle a year ago, McDaniel started 15 of 16 games for the Seahawks and racked up 53 tackles and two sacks on the year. They’ll look for him to reproduce those numbers this year. He’ll play alongside six-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams, an off-season pick-up from Minnesota. The 33-year-old Williams will replace defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who signed with Tampa Bay in March.
“I met him when he signed,” said McDaniel. “He’s obviously very talented and I’m looking forward to playing with him.”
The 29-year-old McDaniel grew up in Hartsville. He played his ninth and 10 th grade years for the Red Foxes under oach Lewis Lineberger. Midway through his junior year, McDaniel left Hartsville to live with his father in Columbia and play at Keenan High School. He went on to play at Tennessee and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006.
McDaniel played three seasons with the Jaguars and spent four years with Miami before signing with Seattle in 2013.