Former Denver Broncos and LSU wide receiver Orlando McDaniel has died due to complications from the coronavirus at the age of 59. He passed away on Friday after visiting family in Washington, D.C., recently.
McDaniel led LSU in receiving in 1981 with 41 catches for 719 yards and was second in the Southeastern Conference with 17.5 yards a catch. He caught 64 passes for 1,184 yards in his college career from 1978-81. He played only one season in the NFL after being drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 1982.
A track sensation at Lake Charles High School in Louisianna, McDaniel's 13.5-second time in the 120-yard hurdles in 1977 was the fastest high school time in that event that year. As a hurdler on LSU's track team, McDaniel placed second in the NCAA 110-meter hurdles in 1980.
"He was such a tremendous athlete in both sports," LSU track coach Dennis Shaver said.
"He ran pretty," said former LSU wide receiver Greg LaFleur, who was a teammate of McDaniel's before playing tight end with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1981-86.
"He just glided," said LaFleur, a former associate athletic director at LSU and former athletic director at Southern. "I remember watching him on the LSU track team. I had never seen anybody with such perfect form going over the hurdles. No wasted effort whatsoever. He would just miss each hurdle."
McDaniel lived in the Dallas area and founded a successful youth track club called the North Texas Cheetahs.
"The love he had for track and field was really special," Shaver said. "We're fortunate that people like him get involved with our youth. He was one of the most important people in our sport. He persuaded youth to spend their summers doing something productive. Orlando had essentially dedicated his life to it. He's going to be sorely missed."