Today, Texas added the #36 ranked player in the country, rising forward DeAndre Daniels, to a class now filled with endless skill, versatility and the ability to score the ball from the perimeter.
The Longhorns first took an interest in the Woodland Hills Taft prospect during the spring evaluation period. Texas was drawn to the 6-7.5 long armed forward because of his combination of length, ability to shoot the ball out to 22-feet, the ability to drive the ball on a big man and a high ceiling that the junior to be is far from reaching.
On June 18-19 in Austin, Daniels showed all of those skills plus very impressive footwork, touch with impressive hands and a high ceiling that earned an offer from head coach Rick Barnes.
Daniels followed his Austin trip by taking unofficial visits to Alabama (June 20) and Kentucky (June 21). After traveling to the New Orleans area and taking a couple of days to rest and think about the offer from the Longhorns, Daniels decided to accept becoming a key part of the 2011 recruiting class.
"I have committed to Texas," Daniels said. "I feel blessed knowing it wouldn't be possible without the Man upstairs. I decided on Texas because of the basketball, academics and life after basketball. It just felt like family when I went there. It was just a gut feeling. It just felt good and a perfect fit. The family atmosphere was strong at Texas. I didn't get that feel everywhere."
"The day I met Coach Barnes, I felt comfortable around him. He told me about the program and how the offense works. I trust him," Daniels said.
For the 6-7.5, 185-pounder, the Longhorns have been the program Daniels has been following closely since Kevin Durant terrorized the Big 12.
"I started liking Texas when Kevin Durant went there. Since then, Texas has always been my favorite," said Daniels, who is a native of New Orleans.
The process was a tough one with more than ten scholarship offers.
"I would like to thank all of the programs who offered me, recruited me, and hosted me on unofficial visits. I enjoyed meeting everyone and all of the relationships I developed along the way," Daniels said.
Daniels joins point guard Myck Kabongo (#18 player in the country), shooting guard Julien Lewis and G/W Sheldon McClellan (#27 player in the country) in the 2011 class for the Longhorns.
DeAndre Daniels Scouting Report
Daniels is a long armed combo forward that will likely play a face-up, four-man type of role on the next level. Daniels has only been playing the game for roughly three years, but has made a steady progression skill wise.
On the offensive end, Daniels can put the ball on the floor and drive a big man. In time, he will be able to put the ball on the floor against bigger wing defenders with more success as he works to get his inside shoulder lower. Daniels doesn't shy away from putting the ball on the deck. The near 6-8 forward runs the floor well with the ability to finish above the rim. For a player that hasn't played the game his entire life, he has good footwork. Daniels can knock down the three as well as the mid-range jumper. Daniels has soft hands and often times will make the tough catch and go up in one motion.
Defensively, Daniels isn't afraid to throw his body around diving for loose balls or defending on the catch in the post. He has long arms and uses his length to bat post entry passes away or disrupt timing. After the catch, Daniels isn't developed enough physically to hold position and defend for long, but he isn't afraid of contact and physical play.
Daniels' key over the next two years will be physical development, continuing to work using his length on defense and jump shot mechanics.