- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Cam McDaniel was talking Wednesday about the photo seen 'round the world, joking that there is nothing to heckle him about. He said that Brian Kelly told him he heard the running back is now a model, and that a teammate later informed him of a rumor going around that McDaniel and fellow junior Troy Niklas would be leaving school after this season to pursue modeling careers.
"Maybe Troy," McDaniel said, "but not myself."
Funny enough, Niklas had sneaked into the pack of reporters surrounding McDaniel at that moment -- as discreet as a 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end can be -- and had some questions of his own.
"WordPress," Niklas said of his media outlet, "what exactly do you call the look, and how long have you been working on it?"
And of course, McDaniel just happened to be in position to deliver the perfect line, thanks to his movie choice last week.
"People are starting to call it 'Blue Steel,' " McDaniel said. "The funny thing is literally the night before all this went viral, I was watching 'Zoolander' -- I kid you not, promise you. And didn't have any relation to like all this. People had not mentioned any model-esque type things before this and then the next day all of this goes viral, Blue Steel-type stuff, and it was so funny. It really was. A very strange coincidence."
This is the kind of attention McDaniel now finds himself dealing with after losing his helmet against USC and, seemingly in an instant, striking a pose amidst being tackled. He has since been on NBC's "The Today Show," with the 5-foot-10, 207-pound running back seeing his name and face plastered over all sorts of different pop culture outlets.
"It was pretty funny because I remember the play where his helmet came off, and I remember him kind of spinning down and he was kind of behind me," left tackle Zack Martin said. "He got spun down pretty good, so to think that his face looked like that when he was going down ... "
Niklas, like the media horde around McDaniel, wanted to know if the Coppell, Texas native had any other tricks up his sleeve.
A cameo in "Zoolander 2," perhaps? After all, McDaniel did mention that he can turn, and even run, left.
"Is there another look you're working on that we could see maybe debut pretty soon here?" Niklas asked. "Magnum?"
"A lot of things go on underneath the helmet so just really focused on that right now," McDaniel said. "But if it pops off then we'll see."
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information