Claims a mix up with coaching staff due to the coronavirus pandemic
By Jesus Cano & Luke Johnson
Tre’Vante Daniels left many confused after he posted a video of himself signing a letter of intent to play football at Texas Tech University.
Even his coaches couldn’t confirm its legitimacy.
However, the Texas Tech athletic department could and said Daniels was never offered a spot on the team.
In the video, Daniels hosted what appeared to be a National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing ceremony with family and close friends at a park. It was posted to his Instagram page Saturday but, has since been removed.
“It’s official Ya boy a Red Raider. Just know all my haters was my motivators,” he said in the caption.
Daniels, a sophomore defensive back at Los Medanos College (who previously played for Contra Costa College in San Pablo), claimed he was duped by someone who posed as a Texas Tech coach on Twitter. The person in question extended the offer to Daniels, he said.
However, after the Herald initially informed Daniels that Texas Tech’s coaches said they never offered him a roster spot, he replied saying there was a mix up on behalf of the university’s coaching staff due to the ongoing pandemic.
“They sent an offer, but there’s a lot going on with Corona, so it’s a lot of coaches going and coming,” Daniels said.
Matt Dowdy, the director of communications at Texas Tech, said there were no coaching staff changes in relation to the COVID-19 situation.
Daniels, a graduate of Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, would have been the first LMC football player in 15 years to sign to a Power 5 Conference school if the offer was real.
But Texas Tech wasn’t the only Power 5 school Daniels claimed he had an offer from. He also posted on his Instagram that he had scholarship offers from The University of Arkansas, Kansas University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Arizona. The posts have since been deleted.
When asked by the Herald if he could provide documentation of those scholarships, Daniels said all of it might have been purged.
“I have to check the house to see what I can get you, but more than likely it’s in storage or my mom threw it away after we moved,” Daniels said.
All of his Power 5 offers were posted exclusively to his Instagram. However, only offers from lower-division schools were shared on Twitter. In those posts, Daniels tagged members of LMC’s coaching staff and the school that offered him.
Daniels said all of his offers were pulled as soon as he committed to Texas Tech.
Rice University was another school Daniels said offered him a scholarship. But Chuck Pool, the assistant athletic director, explained the team didn’t even know about Daniels.
“Our coaches said they never recruited Tre’vante Daniels or anyone else from Los Medanos College,” Pool said.
This isn’t the first time a counterfeit NLI was signed. Back in 2008, Kevin Hart of Fernley High School in Nevada faked his commitment to the University of California, Berkeley. He was exposed days later by members of the Golden Bears coaching staff who said they never offered him a scholarship, according to Mercury News. Hart later admitted to fabricating the whole situation.
Daniels insists he was the victim of a scam.
“Why would I put my family and myself through anything like this to lie about a piece of paper to play football?” Daniels said. “It doesn’t matter to me what’s real and what’s fake. I know the truth and that’s all that matters.”
According to Kevin Hartwig, former Freedom High School football head coach for 15 years, most recruiters talk to the coaches before offering scholarships to their players to have a better scouting report of the athlete on and off the field.
Daniels was one of LMC’s best players last season. He was voted First Team All-Pacific 7 and had three interceptions with 15 pass deflections.
Some of his peers were excited to see him post the NLI signing on Instagram. It was shared by a few of his teammates, who supported the move.
“It was not surprising at all,” said teammate Javier Hernandez. “He was very confident and aware of the player he was and came out big when we needed him most… He was grinding all throughout the season.”