Jalen McDaniels, Federal Way, WA native, committed today to San Diego State, making him the first 2016 recruit and second Jalen to be coached under Steve Fisher.
McDaniels is a four-star by Scout.com and 247 sports and is a considered a power forward on recruiting websites. Labels don't matter to Steve Fisher as he is more interested in his athleticism and focus on defense. The Aztecs get another long player who could play multiple spots on the floor like a Malik Pope or J.J. O'Brien-- essentially a quality Aztec player.
Former SDSU recruit and classmate of McDaniels, Keith Smith encouraged McDaniels to attend San Diego State. Smith had a change of heart earlier this year and left sunny San Diego to remain in the Pacific Northwest at Oregon. Rumors had McDaniels jumping ship as well, but McDaniels had been steadfast through the recruiting process.
He had been closely linked to the University of Washington based on proximity. Though the Huskies were a finalist, eventually the pedigree of Steve Fisher and his staff won him over. The excited McDaniels verbally committed on September 9 to San Diego State on twitter, but a few days later news broke that the NCAA was considering looking into rules violations at San Diego State. The news didn't deter his commitment at all and he responded back with:
10 toes down out here #Aztecs
— J boogs (@iamjboogs) September 16, 2015
McDaniels is actually related to former Fab 5 member Juwan Howard and subsequently McDaniels' mother named Jalen after Jalen Rose. If McDaniels could draw energy from either Fab 5 member, then the Aztecs will be just fine.