- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series takes a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
No. 81 Greg Daniels
Senior tight end
Recruitment rewind: A four-star recruit from Houston's St. Pius X, Daniels was a bit of an under-the-radar find when he committed at a 2009 junior day. He had offers from Oklahoma and Baylor at the time, and Alabama and Texas A&M after his pledge. He played both tight end and defensive end in high school, but took more of a liking to defense in his senior season.
Career so far: Daniels redshirted in 2010 and played in three games on the defensive line in 2011. After that season, he transitioned over to tight end and has stayed there ever since. He's played in 25 games and earned 14 starts since joining the offense, and has eight receptions for 118 yards in his career. Daniels had right shoulder surgery this offseason and missed spring ball.
Best-case scenario for 2014: This is a player who's poised to surprise. The new Texas staff knows Daniels can set the edge as a blocker, and he's going to see the field a lot on running downs. But don't forget that Daniels was on the receiving end of the 2012 Wishbone tribute to Darrell K Royal. That was a 47-yard reception, and Daniels could be in for more opportunities as a pass-catcher over the middle.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: Texas has four pretty intriguing options at tight end now that Blake Whiteley has joined the mix, and it's the position group that has the most continuity since Bruce Chambers was retained. So as long as Daniels' shoulder heals up, the only setback he would face is falling to third or fourth on the depth chart. He will at least be a quality blocker, he just might not see many passes thrown his way.
Future expectations: Daniels has one season of eligibility left and, potentially, a chance to help reverse Texas' recent trend of unremarkable play at tight end. Unless one player rises up in fall camp, expect a committee of contributors at that position. He's not yet a well-known player among Texas fans because of his thankless efforts as a blocker, but you could see a lot more from Daniels as a senior.