Daniels leading ROY, thinking of Classic

Consistency has moved Mark Daniels Jr. into the lead of the Rookie of the Year standings. By making his fifth top 50 cut in six events, Daniels moved past event winner Dustin Connell by 4 points, 441-437.

On his way back home to Tuskegee, Ala., the northern California native stopped by Little Rock for an appearance on Bassmaster LIVE. He said winning ROY would be nice, but it's not his first goal on the season.

"It's in the back of my mind, but the main thing about all sports is making the championship, and here, that's the Bassmasters Classic," he said. (Yes, he said it with an 's' on the end, kinda old school.)

Daniels, 35, only missed the cut at Okeechobee but has been consistently inside the cut with 40th at Cherokee, 28th at Toledo Bend, 39th at Ross Barnett, 25th at Sam Rayburn and 28th on Dardanelle.

Jamie Hartman, who began Championship Monday in second with little headroom, stands third in ROY with 423 points, and Jesse Wiggins (382) and Alton Jones Jr. (332) are in the top 5 of the 11 rookies.

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