Texas Scores Big with Daniels

The Texas Longhorns have 19 commitments three days into March and none are bigger than on the defensive line. One of the four defensive lineman committed is Houston St. Pius X defensive end Greg Daniels. On Tuesday, Burnt Orange Beat spent three hours at the Houston area TAPPS school learning about the sleeper defender.

The Texas Longhorns have loaded up on the defensive line in the 2010 class. While the defensive tackle position has been targeted the most, finding defensive ends that play the run and rush the passer with equal effectiveness are hard to find. In St. Pius X junior Greg Daniels, the Longhorns hope to have found one of the players.

At 6-4, 242-pounds with 4.68 speed, engulfing strong hands and good foot quickness, Daniels has emerged as one of the top defensive end prospects in the state of Texas.

After earning TAPPS second team all state as a junior with body that is quickly developing, Daniels became a prospect of interest for several regional programs. The recent offers from Texas and Oklahoma come without surprise to St. Pius X assistant coach Jason Kimball.

"It's sounds cliché, but Greg is the whole package," Kimball said, "With the athletic ability, academic success (3.0 core GPA in AP classes) and personality, he enjoys a high success rate in everything he does. He's very talented with a work ethic. He excels using his hands, gets good leverage and he has explosive speed for someone his size. Pound for pound, he's the best athlete we have on our team. He's a high energy guy in everything he does and he's transformed his body."

Another reason that two of the top programs in the country took an interest in and followed up with an offer to Daniels is a terrific body type and the distinct possibility that the junior still has a lot of growing and filling out to do.

"My dad is 6-7," Daniels said. "My grandfather was 6-6 and my uncle is 6-5. I have some tall people in my family. My dad played basketball at Prairie View A&M," added Daniels.

For Daniels, the decision to commit to Texas was a dream come true since an early age.

"It was just my mother and I sitting there (in Coach Brown's office). I asked my mom if she wanted me to go there (Texas) and she said yes, but she also said it was my decision and it's always been a dream of mine to go to Texas since I was four or five. Coach Brown offered me a full scholarship and I said yes I'll definitely take it," said Daniels, whose father didn't make the trip because he was officiating a high school basketball playoff game.

The first school to heavily recruit the junior was the Baylor Bears, who were about to offer when Daniels committed to the Longhorns.

The first school to offer, however, was the Oklahoma Sooners the day before Daniels tripped to Austin. For Daniels, academics was a big part of his decision making process.

"I was really looking for the academics if I got hurt. A good academic school and Texas has a great academic school. I want to major in petroleum engineering or go to medical school. I was looking for a nice campus too. I just love everything about Texas," Daniels said.

As far as playing strong side or weak side defensive end or eventually growing into a defensive tackle, Daniels said Coach Muschamp didn't get into specifics.

"They really didn't get into specifics, but they said they liked me at defensive end and I could even stand up a little in situations," Daniels said.

Daniels, who laces up a size 16 shoe, says he understands that being committed to Texas doesn't guarantee success and he has to get much better to eventually start for the Longhorns.

"I have to work even harder to be able to compete at Texas. I have to do more to be a starter one day. I have to do more this spring and summer than last year. I feel like I need to work on my pass rushing moves. I need to develop a spin move," Daniels said.

While Daniels attends school at St. Pius X, he lives near North Shore high school. He played little league football with North Shore junior and Texas commitment Trey Hopkins as well as Oklahoma State signee Andre May (senior at North Shore) and junior receiver Deandrew White.

Horns Digest Top Stories