After a sizzling early summer on the recruiting trail, things quieted down for Coach Scott Satterfield and UofL Football. Many were wondering who might be the next to join the flock. Well, now we have that answer as Desmond Daniels, a 2020 TE out of the state of GA, committed to UofL Football this afternoon.
— Desmond Daniels (@100k_zay) August 16, 2019
Daniels is 6’4 220 lbs and plays for Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, GA. UofL has had some luck with this particular high school in GA, as current sophomore DB Telly Plummer attended and played for Langston Hughes.
Though listed as a SDE on 247sports, Daniels is being recruited as a TE by UofL. He is rated as a 3 Star prospect and had offers from Syracuse, IU, and Maryland, among others. UofL DC and CB Coach Bryan Brown and TE Coach Stu Holt were the lead and secondary recruiters for Daniels per 247sports.
A strong, agile player, Daniels plays both DE and OT for his high school. He plays some special teams as well. There are certain attributes I was able to see while watching Daniels’ film that lead me to believe he can be a quality TE in the Satterfield offense.
As both an OT and a DE, Daniels displays a high motor with quite a bit of strength. He can push DEs or OTs around to make plays. While playing both positions, he displays agility and quickness. He moves his feet well and can beat opponents to a spot to either stonewall them or get by them. Daniels displays the ability to get off the ball at the snap when playing both sides, but especially offensively.
As an OT in particular, Daniels shows great blocking skills. Anyone who has watched five minutes of a Satterfield offense knows that he wants TEs that are excellent blockers. He utilizes them almost as a sixth OL.
Special teams and his play as a DE, but especially as a special teamer, show Daniels’ speed. He is pretty fast for such a big guy that plays in the trenches. It’s pretty obvious this is a skill Satterfield likes to use when he uses the TEs in the passing game.
These are some of the attributes I noticed when watching highlights for Desmond Daniels. Let’s delve a little deeper into these traits.
Numerous times, we have heard the term “get off,” from this staff in regards to either OL or DL. It also applies to the TEs for this staff. The TEs are meant to be just as dominant as blockers as the OL. “Get off,” or the ability to explode at the snap of the ball, is something a TE will need. Desmond Daniels has this ability. He truly explodes at the snap of the ball and it allows him to get leverage and drive defenders backwards and into the ground.
Speaking of driving defenders, I love Daniels’ ability to get low and drive with his legs. Numerous times in his highlights, he drives his legs and, in turn, drives defenders backwards. He knows how to stay lower than his opponent to maintain leverage.
Though we only get to see Daniels play OL and DL primarily in his highlights, his quickness is evident. When blocking, it shows in how well he is able to move laterally to stop an outside rush from a DE. He beats them to the spot with his quickness and is able to lock on the block. In one play, he actually blocks to the inside and moves down the line quickly without tripping over his or anyone else’s feet to block.
When playing DE, we see him use a nice little fake on one play to get the OL to bite that he is taking an outside route to get to the backfield. Daniels immediately darts to the inside making the poor OL look silly. He then is able to stop and adjust to tackle a smaller, quicker RB.
His ability to change direction fluidly and quickly will bode well for when he is asked to run routes. It, too, will allow him to be able to block well as he has quick feet to beat a defender to a spot.
Daniels is very strong at 6’4 220 lbs. When playing OL and blocking, he can finish blocks, driving defenders upfield, to the sideline, or to the ground. If he can’t drive them, he stonewalls them; standing them up and making them immobile.
As a DE, he can shed blocks because of his strength; often times driving the OT into the backfield to create havoc or simply discards the blocker with ease to the side or ground to make a play. It shows up in tackling too as he has one play where the play is along the sideline. Daniels shows up and just pulverizes a poor runner out of bounds. What was interesting about that particular play was it looked effortless.
For a guy as big as Daniels is, he is extremely fast. This attribute shows up most notably when he’s on special teams. On the first punt for his team on the highlight tape, we see Daniels fly down the field and he is the first one in the area of the punt returner. That’s pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that, in the very next highlight, he is right there again with a teammate ready to make a play on the punt returner. In fact, it was a fair caught ball, but had it not been, he would’ve blasted the poor fellow. There is another highlight demonstrating the same thing. He can fly. It’s no wonder Satterfield sees him as a weapon at TE.
High Motor and Physicality
Watch every single play of his highlight film and you will see a player that plays every play with every ounce of energy he has. So many of Daniels’ blocks show him churning his legs and constantly driving them to drive the opponent backwards. When playing defense, he never gives up on a play. He will run across the field making tackles or if he is blocked well, he will eventually shed the block and fly up from behind to bring a ball carrier down.
Once Daniels engages a block or is tackling, he loves to be physical. He has a bit of a nasty streak in him, which is a hallmark of Scott Satterfield’s 2020 class so far. He loves to finish blocks by driving defenders 10 or more yards downfield or planting them in the ground. As a defender, I mentioned a play where he utilized his strength to pop a ball carrier running along the sidelines out of bounds. That play also displays his love of hitting people. He definitely puffed up a bit after the hit; showing he has a little nastiness, a little edge to him. Quite a few of his highlights as a DE show him in the middle of the line, with all kinds of big bodies crushing each other, making tackles.
Bottom line, he loves to play every play with everything he’s got and he loves to hit people on the football field.
All in all, Desmond Daniels is a player that should grow into a fine TE for UofL. He has the size and power to be an excellent blocker. With his background playing OT, he will likely be a little more advanced in this department. What’s even scarier is I can foresee Daniels adding more muscle and strength, making him a potential monster.
He possesses excellent balance, quickness, agility, and speed. Though he hasn’t been called upon to catch the ball a lot, I think that he can learn that relatively easily. The route running will be interesting to keep an eye on, but with the agility and quickness, I think he will take to it with little problem.
His speed makes him a tantalizing weapon. I imagine he will get open on play action a lot simply because he is fast.
The best thing about Daniels is he brings the effort every play and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. I imagine the coaches will love coaching him up and watching him develop.
If all goes well, he can be a valuable weapon for guys like Evan Conley, Chubba Purdy, and/or Tee Webb. Not to mention he should definitely help pave the way for the RBs like Hassan Hall, Javian Hawkins, and Jalen Mitchell. Another good pickup by the UofL staff.