Davis talks about his commitment

Offensive tackle Cody Davis had been considered a strong lean to Alabama for some time, but his recent public commitment is more evidence that the Tide is well on its way toward assembling a very good class.

Said by some recruiting pundits to have the most potential of any offensive tackle recruit in the state, Davis concentrated all season on helping Hillcrest High School to its best record in school history. He didn't want to upset any team chemistry, so Davis chose to wait until after the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs to announce his decision.

But his mind had been made up for some time.

"I really decided after the Oklahoma game," Davis told TheInsiders.com in an interview Thursday afternoon. "Even though Alabama lost that game, the guys still fought hard and the fans were incredible."

Tide fans sometimes take it for granted, but the truth is that Alabama's game-day atmosphere at Bryant-Denny is among the very best in all of college football, especially when the visiting team is ranked No. 1 in both polls.

"I want to be able to come into a stadium and those fans get me ready to play every Saturday," Davis said.

Living and playing high school sports in Tuscaloosa, Davis understands the special relationship between Bama fans and their team. He's excited about Head Coach Mike Shula and likes the assistants, but he was firm in stating that his commitment was to the Tide.

In terms of long-term potential, Cody Davis is precisely what college coaches are looking for in an offensive lineman.

"I chose Alabama because it is Alabama," Davis said. "I did not choose it because of a coach."

Davis quickly added that he liked the current staff as well. "Coach Shula, Coach Connelly and Coach Sparky Woods are top-notch guys," Davis said.

(NOTE: Though no formal announcement has been made, Sparky Woods has assumed responsibility for the Tide off-campus recruiting, while Bobby Connelly is Bama's offensive line coach.)

All three Tide coaches spent several hours in the Davis home Wednesday night, taking the allowed in-home visit. Cody talked about the evening.

"It went great," he said. "I got the information I wanted to hear. They were telling me about the good education I would get, the graduation rates."

Many fans misunderstand the recruiting process, assuming there is some sort of magic formula for convincing a youngster to sign with a given school. But Davis pointed out that old-fashioned principles of integrity and hard work are most important.

Davis explained, "The coaches were real honest and straight forward with me. I figured if they are going to be honest and straight forward with me now, then they would be the same with me when I get to Alabama."

At 6-7 and 265 pounds, Davis is seen as a prototype for offensive tackle. Like virtually every lineman he'll need a year or so to bulk up and mature physically, but the Tide coaches are excited about his long-term potential. He and B.J. Stabler are generally considered the top two tackle recruits in the state. Now both are in Bama's column.

"When I decided, I decided on the team," Davis said. "The commitments that are on board now are really the top guys in the state.

"I wanted to be a part of that team."

Of course the fact that Bryant-Denny Stadium is only minutes from the Davis driveway didn't hurt.

Cody's dad, Bert Davis, added, "Alabama is a great institution in our own backyard. Why go anywhere else?"

One of the things that scouts like about Davis is that he's remarkably flexible for an athlete his size.

Davis is the 12th prospect to commit to Alabama as part of the 2004 recruiting class. Other Tide commitments include Clarke County offensive tackle B.J. Stabler, Hartselle wide receiver Nikita Stover, East Central (Miss.) Community College running back Titus Ryan, T.R. Miller tight end Trent Davidson, Thomasville defensive back Aaron Johns, Randolph County wide receiver Ezekiel Knight, Fort Payne wide receiver/defensive back Aaron McDaniel, Jacksonville, Florida, wide receiver Will Oakley, Hillcrest cornerback Travis Robinson, Cullman two-way lineman Justin Britt and Pike County tight end Nick Walker.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is expected to sign 2-3 more offensive linemen this year, but that number can be misleading. Athletes listed as prep tight ends or defensive linemen could well end up playing on the O-Line in college.

Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.


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