This is Tim Sullivan of MGoBlog. Ed Davis. He has committed to Michigan State instead of Michigan. This post is a little out of date, because it was clear for a while that he wasn't coming to ann Arbor, but it should still be informative. Everything was left as-is (except for removing the section about his impact on the remainder of Michigan recruiting class), so none of my evaluations are colored by the fact that he's headed for a rival.
|3*, #37 OLB||NR LB||77, OLB #58|
Davis is listed at 6-4 and 215 pounds as a high schooler, and most sources like his athleticism. [More after the jump]
Shows good flexibility, balance and agility; flashes good K&D run recognition skills; has the good upper body playing strength which allows him to take on and shed blockers however his strength is coming off the edge and creating havoc behind the line of scrimmage. This guy moves through traffic well with excellent make up speed and pursuit habits. Pass coverage will need work but we see the ability to play in space with potential to man up on inside receivers. We like his tough approach to the game and his playing speed and tackling ability indicate the potential for good production on special teams.
The WWL also points out that he's very versatile as a high schooler, playing in all three phases of the game. They do, however, note that he would be well-served by a redshirt year.
Davis saved his most complete camp showing for Michigan’s one-day event on June 5, however. After clocking times in the 4.5 and 4.6-second range for the 40-yard dash, Davis went out and showed he could be effective in coverage against tight ends, slot receivers and running backs, while also putting his hand in the ground and rushing the passer.
"They said they liked my speed, my quickness, how humble I was and how far I could go," Davis said. "They just liked me as a whole person and said I have the whole package to help them."
MGoBoard regular Magnus also gave an evaluation of Davis on Touch The Banner:
Strengths: Good size with plenty of room to add muscle mass. Plays downhill when opportunity arises. Careless with his body. High-effort player... Seems to enjoy chasing plays down from behind. Good speed. Looks more agile and athletic than the highly recruited Gholston on film. Attacks blockers with leverage rather than trying to dance around them
Weaknesses: Not a fluid athlete. Lacks some agility in open space.
Projection: He looks like a good weakside linebacker prospect. He could also project to tight end or rush linebacker, but I'd start him off at WILL.
"Looks more athletic than Gholston" is a pretty serious endorsement, considering the State-bound linebacker's rankings from last year (consensus 5-star). But look at the film embedded below - it's true. Of course Gholston is also 6-7, not 6-4.
Michigan swooped in early on Davis, and gave him his first bigtime offer. He previously held them from Bowling Green and Toledo, among other smaller programs. He visited Iowa shortly after receiving his Michigan offer, and took home a scholarship from the Hawkeyes as well. The Michigan State offer came shortly thereafter.
Within a couple months, he had decided for Michigan State, after visiting East Lansing.
ESPN notes that he racks up lots of TFLs, and the Free Press article puts a number to the other stats:
Davis posted solid numbers playing safety and linebacker as a junior, finishing with 106 tackles, 15 sacks and three interceptions.
Magnus provides his offensive stats:
Also scored 8 touchdowns on offense as a running back and wide receiver
FAKE 40 TIME
The Free Press article mentions that he ran times in the 4.5 and 4.6-second range at Michigan's 1-day camp. Since that's a controlled-ish event, I'm inclined to believe the numbers. A high 4.5-second time, then, sounds realistic for a guy whose strength at the linebacker position is said to be his speed. A disappointing one FAKE out of five.
HOWEVA, in a video interview with Sam Webb (unfortunately paywalled), Davis self-reports his 40 time as 4.3. That's more like it, baby! 5 FAKEs out of five.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
There are a couple knocks on Davis. The first isn't really his fault, as it's a question about whether his stats were the product of having a few top-notch players on his defense. I would say that racking up the stats he had, while Will Gholston and Jon Hankins were racking up stats of their own, shows at the very least that he wasn't on a level too far behind those guys. We'll get a chance to see how he does without them this fall.
The second ding is a correctable issue: he's a little slight, at 6-4 and only 215 pounds, to play linebacker in the Big Ten. Over the course of his senior year, he'll probably add a little bulk, but is probably destined for a redshirt as a freshman.
Coming off the redshirt year, Davis's athleticism will see him get significant time on special teams. He is definite starter material later in his career, and his athleticism might give him the ability to become an exceptional linebacker. As is, he could be All-Big Ten caliber in his final season at Michigan [State].
I left this part in here for hilarity's sake.
You may remember Southeastern from such tales as "No player from that school is coming to Michigan," a product of the coaching staff there. That staff has gotten axed, however (with William Gholston's mentor/guardian Archie Collins landing a job at Michigan State), so Michigan may be able to dip into a serious talent pipeline in the coming years.