Gordo (Ala.) sits just northwest of Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama. The cities will be tied together in recruiting circles not only in short distance apart, about 23 miles, but because of Ben Davis.
The 2016 Gordo High linebacker is already a four-star prospect and the No. 30 overall junior in America on Scout.com, and he’s the son of former Alabama standout and all-time leading tackler Wayne Davis.
Nick Saban and company offered the versatile athlete this summer, after his camp performance, creating a storyline to dive into over the next 18 months before he is eligible to sign a letter of intent to any university.
”I play a little slot receiver, wide receiver and tight end, also.” He said. ”I play linebacker with that, but I like to catch the ball, and if they need me to block, I’ll block. Anything the team needs me to do, I’ll do it.”
Versatility, to go along with a 6-foot-4, 223-pound frame, is the reason that Florida, Mississippi State, Louisville and a host of others have joined the Crimson Tide in courting the outside linebacker projection.
But as one would imagine, Davis is getting plenty used to hearing about his father’s time at Alabama and his potential to follow in his footsteps.
And he doesn't mind, one bit.
“I think it’s pretty cool, ultimately it makes me work harder because of the expectations,” he said. “When people mention my dad, it’s an honor to me, and it makes me want to work harder every day. It keeps my mind focused.”
Naturally, comparisons are beginning to be made between the two.
“If I had to compare, he tells me I was bigger than he was in 11th grade,” the younger Davis said. “But we have similarities, we like to tackle. He played more tight end in high school, I play more wide receiver and tight end, but if we compared, we’d probably be around the same.”
Though services like Scout weren't around in 1983, when the elder Davis was coming out of Gordo as a two-sport star (basketball) just like his son will do in 2016, curiosity in breaking down which of the two was better was ended quickly by Ben.
“I’m not going to go against myself, so I’d have to pick me,” Davis said, laughing.
Not a laughing matter, is a steady recruitment, one Davis has already experienced. It hit the next level when Saban’s word came through for him in early June.
“It was a great feeling, the work and sweat is finally about to pay off,” he said. “As far as Alabama, they’re a great school. I’m going to weigh all my options, I haven’t picked a school yet, but having them up under my belt is a great feeling."
Much like he went through in the 1980’s, don’t expect a ton of pressure on Davis’ son, either. At least not from the former Tide talent.
“He just tells me to enjoy it, relax and have fun with it,” Davis said of his father's current approach. “Whatever school I choose, he says he’s going to cheer for me. He’s not pressuring me to go anywhere, he just wants me to pray about it and see which one my heart’s at. He wants me to have fun with it.”
Davis says he is looking to accelerate the recruiting process sometime after the 2014 season, when he can take more visits to college campuses and filter his growing list of options.
- To listen to Davis’ full interview, hit the play button below.CLICK HERE to listen to the latest episode of Crimson and Blue Chips, with Davis as one of the guests.
The podcast is also available on Bama Sports Radio.
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