St. Petersburg Lakewood star Ryan Davis has plenty of offers on the table, but his relationships with Florida coaches and staff hit home for him. Davis regularly speaks to Florida wide receivers coach Chris Leak who played quarterback for the Gators when they won their 2006 National Championship. Davis holds Coach Leak in high esteem, saying their relationship is similar to family.
“Me and Coach Leak kind of fit and we have a relationship where it feels like he’s my brother,” mentioned Davis. “We get along very well. We have a great bond. We understand each other and we can just talk football and talk about life together also.”
Having someone who can understand your role on the team and your goals is important for Davis when it comes to choosing a college to attend. Davis feels like Coach Leak is in his corner in the decision making process.
“Coach Leak makes me feel comfortable and he’s someone I can trust. Someone who I think will always be there for me through thick and thin, no matter what’s going on or what the situation is.”
Fortunately for Davis, Florida’s situation could play right into his strengths on the field. Despite Florida’s 38-20 win over rival Georgia, after the game, Coach Will Muschamp said to freshman quarterback Treon Harris “we need to throw more.” In order to throw more, Florida needs to find more effective athletes.
Leak is reminded of one of Florida’s best athletes in the last decade when he sees Davis.
“Coach Leak said I remind him of Percy Harvin a lot and I could definitely fill that void and be that dynamic playmaker they haven’t had in some years.”
For Florida, a playmaker like Harvin could have helped the Gators this season. Even with a 4-3 start, the Gators are still positioned to have a chance at the SEC East Title and a bowl game come December. Much of Florida’s improved position in the SEC comes after the upset over Georgia.
“I always saw [Florida] in a positive light,” Davis said. “In [the Georgia] game, you see everybody coming together, putting everything aside and playing for one another. You can see they are just playing for each other and playing for their coach right now. They know what’s at stake. There’s a lot of potential on that team. They just haven’t been able to put it together. They have to finish, but I feel like they’re going to turn it around real soon.”
Regardless of the Gator’s finish, Florida is still a draw for Davis because of their close proximity and the potential to quickly earn playing time in one of the top conferences in the nation.
“Florida is close to home but the thing I see right now is opportunity. There is a chance to play right away and become a big difference maker and I’m playing in the SEC. That gives me a chance to get a lot of experience from the fiercest competition in the country.”
Many top ten schools are looking into Davis, but he sees past the rankings and looks for several off the field factors while he decides where his future leads.
“Of course you want to see teams win, but you have to go to a school that fits you and fits the type of player and puts you where you’re comfortable. You have to think about location and if your parents can get there. That’s the type of stuff I look at, stuff that will set me up now and in the future.”