Daniel Mueller will go down as one of the best specialists in Lancaster-Lebanon League football lore.
Lancaster Catholic’s senior punter and kicker has earned multiple all-star and all-state nods in his first three campaigns with the Crusaders. And he’s off to another hot start this season.
Mueller’s success — and a grueling camp schedule that has taken him up and down the East Coast the last couple of years — has paid off in the form of a college scholarship.
Mueller this week announced that he’s accepted a scholarship offer from Villanova, where he’ll take his very special specialist skills to the Main Line and punt and kick for the Wildcats in the FCS Colonial Athletic Association.
He also had offers from Ivy League outposts Cornell and Pennsylvania on his plate, and Mueller competed at camps at Cornell, UPenn and Villanova this past summer — along with stops in Rhode Island and Florida.
“I like Cornell and Penn a lot, but I knew Villanova was the best fit for me,” said Mueller, who sports a 4.6 GPA with Honors and Advanced Placement courses, and he’s ranked sixth in his class at Catholic.
“I love the campus and the coaches,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I knew I couldn’t let it pass. The hospitality they showed me there was tremendous. It’s very family-oriented. I knew they wanted me there, and I wanted to go somewhere that I was wanted. Villanova is the best place for me.”
Mueller will be the fourth person in his family to be a specialist at the college level: His grandfather, Harold Mueller, was a specialist for Purdue; his dad, Dan Mueller, was a specialist for William & Mary; and his cousin, Steve Weyler, recently wrapped up a stint as a specialist for Villanova.
Mueller said he’ll primarily be used as a punter — he’ll split a scholarship with an incoming kicker in the Class of 2022 — but he’ll be ready to attempt extra points and field goals or handle the kickoff duties if called upon.
He’s handled all of those chores — and quite well — for Catholic for the last three-plus seasons.
“It’s been a crazy summer with all the camps,” Mueller said. “But that’s the kind of grind it takes if you want to get a scholarship as a punter. Not many kids get this kind of an opportunity; most punters are preferred walk-ons.
“It really has taken a village to get me to where I am. It’s been a crazy experience, but this is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. And it all culminated with an amazing opportunity from Villanova.”