BY LEVI EDWARDS | TEAM REPORTER
Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler go back.
Like way back.
Like lived-together-in-college back.
McDaniels was a room down from Dave Ziegler in a house with six tenants in University Heights, Ohio. The senior mathematics major was on his way out of John Carroll University with Ziegler, a history major, a year behind him.
"We met each other right away; we acclimated to one another," said McDaniels. "We played receiver together, and we were just kindred spirits if you will."
Being roommates with McDaniels is something Ziegler looks back fondly on. Early on, he could see the dedication in his friend and teammate from living with him that has translated to them arriving to Las Vegas together 24 years later. A lot can be learned about a person's habits from living with them for a full year.
"He had the room right next to mine. He had a little sliding door so you could peek into his room," Ziegler laughed. "He was a very good roommate. Very responsible, very clean – both of us were. He was a math major, I was a history major, but we were both pretty dedicated to our studies too. We took the academics pretty seriously.
"We were good roommates, good teammates and had some fun along the way."
The two met in spring of 1995. McDaniels hosted Ziegler for his recruitment trip to John Carroll, but McDaniels had made an impression on Ziegler even before the two met. They grew up in neighboring cities in Ohio – Ziegler in Tallmadge and McDaniels in Canton, where he was a standout quarterback at Canton McKinley High School, a football powerhouse run by his father and 1997 high school football Coach of the Year Thom McDaniels.
"I went to see Josh play in the playoffs against Massillon (OH)," Ziegler said. "There were over 24,000 people in the stadium at a high school football game. And so, I knew of Josh McDaniels. It was pretty cool when I got to John Carroll to know he was there because he was a guy who I watched and kind of admired to a degree. I didn't play at this massive powerhouse high school program.
"When I got there, I was excited that we hit it off and became friends."