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'American Idol': Former College Football Player Impresses Judges With Garth Brooks Cover



American Idol season 20 has wowed TV viewers nationwide, but it's the American Idol judges who have been kept on their toes with these phenomenal auditions. This time around, the reality TV show mixed in a little bit of football when Daniel Marshall Griffith wowed Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie with his audition, singing Garth Brooks' "The Dance."

Griffith is a native to Chesapeake, Virginia, and is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned his bachelor's degree in agribusiness and agricultural business operation. During his time there, he was part of the football team as a linebacker and also played guitar part-time.

The singer revealed he only started playing guitar a few months ago, saying, "In the beginning of summertime, I sang at my grandfather's memorial service. I forced myself. I was just like, 'You're going to do this." He continued, "For the first public performance, I sang at a Brewery right down the road from my house. I had all of my friends and family come out. I was pretty nervous, but it went great."

It's safe to say that guitar practice worked; the eager contestant wowed the judges left to right with his smooth country twang. After the performance, Richie said "Dan Marshall, you have that storytelling thing, man, There's something that you can't teach, and that's called natural talent and your craft of who you are. I like what I just heard."

Perry went on to say that he had a "natural-born talent" and was already planning on "marketing" him, revealing she was was "all-in."

Giving him some words of advice, Bryan noted,  "First and foremost, playing the guitar may be taking your focus away from singing. If you make it to the next round, let the big-time pros play the instruments."

The county singer also told Griffith he was eager to help him out by coaching him properly. Complimenting his vocals, he stated, "Man, you're one of the best sounding country artists that have been through, but you're not doing all of the emotion properly. If I had 20-minutes out there to coach you, I could really show you some tricks, you'll just have to focus on toeing the line the whole way if we're talking in a football and country music tune."

As expected, Griffith received a yes from all judges, earning him a ticket straight to Hollywood. We're excited to see another star hit the stage this season!

American Idol is set to return with a new episode on Monday, March 21 at 8/7 c on ABC with Ryan Seacrest as the official host.

READ MORE: 'American Idol': Emily Faith Earns Platinum Ticket With 'Good Hearted Woman' Cover