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Oregon recruiting: Reggie, Reggie! New verbal commit Daniels is a home run for the Ducks

Reggie Daniels

defensive back/safety

6-2, 185 Hamilton High School, Chandler, Arizona

measurables: 4.38 handheld 40, (4.6 electronic, according to espn.com)

                      305-lb. squat, 34″ vertical leap

stats: (from Maxpreps.com) 2010 junior 46 tackles 3 int 2 sacks

                                        2011 senior 83 tackles 5 int 3 sacks

team record: junior season 15-0, 5A State Champions, rated #5 in the country, USA Today

                   senior: 13-1, currently in the 5A State Playoffs

(photo credit: Pat Shanahan, The Arizona Republic)

Secondary coach John Neal and the Ducks got a big verbal commitment today, from four-star defensive back Reggie Daniels of Chandler, Arizona. He’s a former high school teammate of current Duck Tyler Johnstone, a promising offensive tackle who is redshirting this year, and shares a hometown with Oregon junior defensive end Dion Jordan.

Daniels is the 8th four-star play to commit to the Ducks so far this recruiting cycle, and that’s their all-time best result this early in the recruiting year. He’s a hard-hitting, playmaking safety who’ll be an excellent fit in the aggressive Oregon defense, a sure tackler who loves contact and has tremendous instincts and ball skills. As noted above, his Hamilton High team is 28-1 over the last two seasons, a winning tradition that prepares him well for joining an Oregon squad with a similar commitment to excellence.

The Hamilton star is part of an encouraging trend in secondary recruiting at UO. So far they’ve added four defensive backs, and all of them are athletic and physical, with good size for the position:

Eric and Stephen Amoako Arlington, Texas 5-11 195

Oshay Dunmore Newport, Oregon 6-2 200

Daniels 6-2 185

Add these four to the young safeties and cornerbacks already playing at Oregon, and the future looks incredibly bright despite competing in a conference full of tall, fast wide receivers. These four have the size and athletic ability to win those matchups, and Daniels, with his aggressive style and playmaking ability, will set the pace.


Scouting notes:

Plays up close like a linebacker, and that experience will make him an impact player in run support and special teams. Cliff Harris flair but much more disciplined, a punishing tackler, likes contact. Plays with tremendous pride and awareness. Competitive nature makes him a wonderful fit for John Neal’s secondary and the fly-to-the-football style of play at Oregon. Great timing and leaping ability. Terrific instincts. Reads the flow of the play and the quarterback’s eyes. Steps up aggressively to meet the play. Excellent ball skills, good hands. Runs like a receiver with a turnover, a playmaker. A hitter who delivers a blow and discourages receivers. Devastating blitzer who comes in under control and finds his mark.

Asked to do a lot of things for his high school defense, plays very physical. Could contribute right away with that kind of aggressiveness and confidence. Always around the ball, and wins those one-on-one confrontations with receivers, taking the ball at its highest point, a defensive playmaker who leads with his intensity. Very dangerous on the runback, always looking to make a play. Plays fearless defense, will create turnovers and bust plays. Able to play fast in space and commit full speed. Runs down a quarterback on a blitz from the wide side, exploits hesitation.

Whatever the 40 time is, he’ll be fast on the field because o his intensity, understanding and commitment. A smart football player. Sheds a block and stuffs a strong side running play, good strength for a speed athlete, and determined. In the right place on a double move/fake bubble screen route and turns the football around in a hurry. Will charge up his teammates with a big play in a crucial situation. Looks like he really loves playing football. In the #26 jersey he reminds of a mini-Boseko Lokombo, the same kind of heads up athletic style in a defensive back’s body.

When he creates a turnover he’s thinking big return, and he sees the field very well, another indication of superb instincts. Not fooled by a throwback pass, stays home and makes the play, physical and alert. Smells out a running play from safety and crushes the sweep in the backfield, a missle to the ball carrier, tough to block. Good tackler in the open field. Teammate picks off a pass and he levels an offensive player on the return with a crushing legal block, heads up running back into the play from deep coverage. Very well coached.

Sifts through an inside running play to get to the ball. Will limit a lot of explosion plays because he reads the flow well, gets off blocks and takes good angles to the ball carrier. Tenacious. Stuns a receiver over the middle, then on an out route. Like the current Duck defenders, plays with a lot of pride and makes receivers pay for every yard, limits yards after catch, swarms to the ball. Just blasts guys in the open field and arrives right at the catch. Will cause a lot of balls to spin harmlessly on the turf.
Plays tough and stays with the rules but with a physical edge you love to see in a defender, relentless and unyielding all 100 yards. Defends in the red zone like it’s his mama’s kitchen. A safety with a linebacker mentality, has the frame to grow stronger and be a fast, hard-hitting rover like Eddie Pleasant, but way ahead of Pleasant in his coverage and ball skills. Scouting services list him at 170-185 but he plays way bigger than that. Won’t be intimidated. Will have to adjust his technique to the bigger, faster college game but everyone has that challenge. Good natural strength, but has to get stronger for the PAC-12. A guy with his motor will thrive in that challenge. Will compete on the practice field and the weight room like he does in games, and will make the necessary adjustments effectively.

4:20 takes on a big back in the open field and fights through a stiff arm, a nice one-on-one tackle with no one behind him. Turns his hip and runs with the receiver and finds the ball on a deep route. Good coverage skills, and it’s tempting to think of him as a physical corner like Jairus Byrd, get more hitters on the field at one time. Could play the Avery Patterson nickleback/safety role early, and challenge for a starting spot within two years.

4:51 Fends off an offensive tackle to contest a sweep play, and that’s impressive. Not afraid of a physical mismatch, and handles it beautifully. Actually plays stronger than the 6-3, 240 kid, remarkable. Junior year, his Hamilton High school team was 15-0 and finished rated 5th in the country. A kid from a winning tradition, he’ll acclimate readily to the winning atmosphere at Oregon. Clearly a coachable and motivated athlete, and a great fit. Oregon fans will love the way he plays and competes.