The Wisconsin Sports Awards have the organization’s award for the top professional athlete of the year to Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels. This came as a relative surprise but Daniels is one of the top reasons why so many people pick the Packers when making their NFL football picks. The tough defense that he plays and the strong focus on leadership that he uses has helped him to become a popular figure on the team.

Daniels was on a listing of nominees that also included teammate and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Daniels did not expect to win, what with Rodgers being a huge star and icon in his own right. However, the big upset was made at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport corporate hangar, the place where the award ceremony was held. Daniels’ victory proved to be a surprise to many but to those who know how well he leads, it is not much of a surprise to begin with.

Daniels also beat out fellow Packers Clay Matthews and Josh Sitton as well as the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton. Members of the state’s sports media were responsible for voting for players.

Daniels’ award was the only one for the Pack during the event. Much of the evening was in celebration of the University of Wisconsin, a team that has done well this year with Greg Gard replacing Bo Ryan as the team’s coach.

Daniels got a four-year, $41 million contract extension late during the past season. This and his award victory are proof that he will need to take more responsibility for what happens to the Packers in the coming season. Daniels says that he will continue to be a strong leader for the team and help it with advancing forward in terms of what it wants to do in order to thrive.

The work that Daniels has performed has helped him to become a big name in NFL power rankings. He was the defensive line leader in tackles with 66 last year and in sacks with four in the past season. He had one interception and a forced fumble as well. His tough attitude has also been infectious as other players have been going by the example that he shows on the field.

He believes that nice defenses are never going to work. He points at the intimidating and aggressive defenses of Denver, Seattle and New England among others as ones that have proven to be successful in recent time. He particularly likes how three of his fellow temmates, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall, have performed to the standards that he wants to team to follow.

Overall, Mike Daniels is excited to keep on being a strong leader for the Packers. He knows that this new award that he has won will be important to his image as a leader. It will be up to him to continue to be that strong leader on defense as a means of getting the Packers back into the Super Bowl in the near future.