The Gators are recruiting Ryan Davis hard, but the young man has a season of high school football left to play at St. Petersburg Lakewood. He is looking for a strong last year with his high school team.
“We are looking pretty good so far,” Davis said of him and his teammates as they head toward their first game. “We have strengths all over the place, but are a young team. We have a lot of speed and athleticism.”
Davis is the quarterback for Lakewood and it is his ability with the ball in his hands that has the Gators and a ton of other programs coming after him hard.
“I’m able to move out of the pocket, my legs, I can make all the throws,” he said of his abilities as a p[lay caller. “I can get my team out of bad situations. I can run and make a play when there isn’t a play.”
The Gators have even told Davis that he could play a little as a Wildcat quarterback, something that only one other program has mentioned.
“Kentucky said I could,” he said of the dual threat position. “It would be nice, not a major deal. Florida is still recruiting me at receiver, but talk about Wildcat, they talk about it a lot.”
Davis also would like to return kicks in college, but his coach isn’t willing to put that kind of risk on him at this time.
“Coach won’t let me do it, because I am the only quarterback,” Davis said. “I want to (return kicks in college), I just want the opportunity to get the ball in my hands as much as possible.”
Davis was just in Gainesville two weeks earlier, but made the latest trip last Thursday because of his father.
“My dad wanted to see it, he never got the chance to see it,” he said of the Florida campus and the program. “He liked it. He liked talking to the coaches. He liked the campus, but wanted to get into the academic stuff as well.
Davis said his father will play a big role in his decision and the two were able to talke in practice on Thursday.
“I see that everyone is still learning it and it looks a little more cleaned up,” he said of the Gator offense he saw in action. “I see that everyone likes it and is buying into it.”
Davis could see the new offense that Florida was displaying, brought to Florida from Duke by offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. Chris Leak coaches receivers and is stepping up his recruitment of Davis, while the young man is also getting the recruiting love from assistants Brian White and Derek Lewis.
“Leak, he is a great guy, he’s a player’s coach and we have talked a lot,” Davis said. Everyone is recruiting me. I talk to Coach Muschamp every day. I talk to Coach Leak. Coad D-Lew, Coach White, Coach Roper, all five of them I talk to.
“I talk to Coach Muschamp about life and talks about how Florida is on the way back to being a power and stuff like that.
“They aren’t rushing me to commit at all. They are just coming at me hard.”
The staff has certainly let Davis know what they like about him.
“I have the ability to catch a three-yard pass and take it the distance,” he said. “My route running ability, quickness, speed… just making big plays. They say I remind them of Percy.”
He also gets a little bit from his cousin, junior defensive end Dante Fowler who will only go so far in pushing Davis and a decision to be a Gator.
“He says to do it just because you want to do it,” he said about Fowler pushing him to Florida. “He says that being a Gator is a great feeling and they take care of you there.”
Heading into the season, Davis says he knows three teams that will be on his list of final five. Expect Florida, Florida State, and Maryland all to get official visits and he “will probably going to take all five of my official visits.”
As for the next time he may visit Florida again?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I may attend the first game. I am not sure just yet.”