Reggie Daniels – Layin’ the Wood and About to be Heard

If you haven’t heard about Reggie Daniels, you’re about to, whether you read on or not. The 6’1″ 200 pound redshirt freshman safety is said to be the real deal by program insiders. Ranked 4-stars by 247 Sports, Scout and ESPN coming out of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, Daniels was the prized catch of defensive backs coach John Neal’s 2012 recruiting class.

goducks.com

Redshirt Freshman Defensive Back Reggie Daniels

According to Justin Hopkins of Duck Territory, Daniels was at the very top of the staff’s defensive backs board in 2011 when the safety committed to Oregon. Analysts thought highly of Daniels because of his size, speed and well-rounded skill set. Watching his high school highlights, it’s evident that Daniels isn’t scared to play in the box and lay the wood. At the same time, he looks like a natural in coverage and has great ball skills. There’s no doubt that Daniels passes the eye test; he certainly looks like a BCS-level safety.

The reports coming out of Eugene aren’t surprising. By all accounts, Daniels came in as a talented prospect who has worked hard and been notably coachable. While he ultimately redshirted last year, the coaches almost pulled it multiple times throughout the season because of his production on the practice squad. Make no mistake about it, where there’s enough smoke from enough sources, there’s a fire. Reggie is in line to be the next great defensive back at Oregon.

The most telling information is how highly Coach Neal valued Daniels during the recruiting process. Neal has proven to be a great evaluator and developer of talent. Since 2009, five Oregon defensive backs have been drafted into the NFL:

-          Jairus Byrd (2nd Round by Buffalo in 2009)

-          Patrick Chung (2nd Round by New England in 2009)

-          TJ Ward (2nd Round by Cleveland in 2010)

-          Walter Thurmond (4th Round by Seattle in 2010)

-          John Boyett (6th Round by Indianapolis in 2013)

Defensive Backs Coach John Neal

goducks.com

Defensive Backs Coach John Neal

In addition to those five, Eddie Pleasant is also in the league playing for the Houston Texans and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell are locks to be in the NFL by 2015, if not next year. The bottom line is that John Neal knows what he’s doing; if he loves Reggie Daniels then so should Duck fans.

Looking ahead I expect Daniels to make an impact in 2013. Avery Patterson is coming off of an injury and it remains to be seen how soon he’ll be at 100%. Brian Jackson, Erick Dargan and Isaac Dixon are the returning safeties with experience. At the very least Daniels should surpass Dixon for a spot on the two-deep and, if Patterson can’t get healthy, it’s possible he could be Oregon’s starting free safety in 2013.

By 2014, expect Daniels to hold down the starting free safety position and go on to have a great career at Oregon. When all is said and done I’d be surprised if Daniels isn’t playing on Sundays. He’s talented, practice reports have been glowing and he’s playing for a DB coach with a history of developing NFL caliber safeties. Get familiar with the name Reggie Daniels; you’ll be hearing it a lot over the next few years.

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Chris Charbonnier

Chris Charbonnier

Chris was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but made his way to Oregon by the age of five, when he attended his first game at Autzen Stadium. A huge sports fan at a young age, Chris grew up playing football, basketball and golf. Although realizing he isn’t likely to play in the NFL or NBA, Chris still holds on to hopes of being a professional golfer should his unfortunate putting woes take a turn for the better. A bit of a platypus, he attended both Oregon State and Oregon during his collegiate days where he earned a business degree in Finance and Business Administration. Chris works for Daimler Trucks North America in Portland, and plans to get his MBA from the University of Oregon. Chris has been an active member in the recruiting community since 2005. He studies the intricacies of recruiting and is particularly intrigued by talent evaluation techniques. He is currently working on developing his own scouting reports for every scholarship player on the UO roster. Chris lives with his wife, Katrina, and his two-year-old son Lucas (a future dual-threat QB).

  • hoboduck

    You called it Chris. IMO Reggie will be starting before the season ends. He has the intelligence, speed and I believe the desire for the position. What a great find for the Ducks
    Go Ducks

  • oregon111

    Dargon finished the season as the best safety – by a large margin

    I think 2013 will be safety by committee — looking for separation

    I hope that Hill/Mathis get a LOT of playing time this year – they are certainly good enough now that they are redshirt juniors

    where was all this ‘depth’ when Cliffy was doing a clown act with the pot and the sr cornerback had a head injury???

    I don’t know man… right about now I’m thinking….

    I’m ready for a rematch with LSU! 1st game of season at Cowboy stadium

    or anyone else — Ducks are stacked this year — Tyson & DAT will be best set of running backs since pony express at SMU

    and… there will be a few ‘underrated’ LBs to step up and make tackles — probably even more athletic than Kiko/Clay

    I’m drinkin’ the koolaid cuz I’m feeeeeelin’ it – it going to be a great year

    • Chris Charbonnier

      I agree, Dargan was playing really well at the end of the year.

      Don’t underestimate the losses of Kiko and Clay. Their athleticism isn’t what made them so valuable; it was their knowledge of the defense, instincts, play recognition and leadership that made them special. Being an ILB, especially at Oregon, takes a lot more than athleticism.

      • oregon111

        well, I think I can discount their losses, for 3 reasons…

        #1. the strength of the D line
        #2. the strength of the secondary
        #3. solid experience at the outside LB positions

        with all the talent, in front of them, behind them, and to the sides of them, the new inside backers won’t have to do that much — just fly to the ball

        I’m not a ‘homer’, but I’m calling this one early

        but if …. this was the sitch next yr, after the starting D line + Lokombo graduate & the corners turn pro, well then breaking in 2 new inside LBs would be a HUGE concern