A one-time defensive end and defensive tackle for the Longhorns, Daniels appeared to find a home as a blocking tight end last season. Starting six games (including the Valero Alamo Bowl) and rotating through with fellow blocker Geoff Swaim, a JUCO transfer before the 2013 season, Daniels (6-5 252) caught just three passes for 28 yards on the season.
While repairing the injury was a must, the timing could have been better for the fifth-year senior. Swaim returns for 2014, and with the signing of junior college receiving threat Blake Whiteley of Arizona Western C.C., Daniels could find snaps harder to come by this season. That's not even accounting for a guy like M.J. McFarland (6-6 240), who flashed potential at times but seemed to spend the 2013 season in the old staff's doghouse. McFarland started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2012, catching eight passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
That's more catches, yards and touchdowns than Daniels and Swaim combined for in 2013 (6-42-0).
Neither new offensive coordinator Joe Wickline nor assistant head coach for offense Shawn Watson seemed to utilize a ton of multiple tight end sets, which could also severely cut down on the number of reps at the position. Oklahoma State, in particular, opted not to use a tight end too terribly often, relying instead on a big "inside receiver" in Blake Jackson (6-3 235) operating out of the slot.
If Texas elects to do something similar on a regular basis, John Harris (6-3 225) could figure to factor in more as well, though the staff was reportedly excited about the receiving ability that Whiteley (6-5 240) brings to the table.
Daniels is expected to return in time to participate in summer workouts.