Fla. Speedster Ready to Run in College Park

The Terps are back in the Sunshine State, and this time the staff pulled out one of Florida's signature burners. Five-foot-11, 185-pound three-star Jahrvis Davenport (Robinson Senior/Tampa, Fla.) committed to Maryland June 20, becoming the program's 12th pledge and second slot receiver in the 2015 class.

The Terps are back in the Sunshine State, and this time the staff pulled out one of Florida's signature burners. Five-foot-11, 185-pound three-star Jahrvis Davenport (Robinson Senior/Tampa, Fla.) committed to Maryland June 20, becoming the program's 12th pledge and second slot receiver in the 2015 class.

"I was on campus yesterday and I'm in College Park until Sunday, but I just called Coach [Randy] Edsall on the phone to let him know I wanted to be a Terp," said Davenport, who held offers from UMD, Wake Forest, USF, FIU, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Marshall, Rutgers, UConn and others. "Coach said congratulations and he can't wait to get me on board and in the program. He wanted me because he said he loved me as a player and as a person. He likes my leadership and my drive to do the right thing on and off the field."

There were a variety of reasons Davenport chose the Terps, though mostly it was that all-important "gut feeling" he had going for him when he first stepped onto the campus June 19. Like many recruits who play a hunch, Davenport and his mother, who accompanied him, just felt "right" about Maryland.

"It's hard for me to say -- it was just a feeling. I feel like I can call this home," Davenport said. "Other schools I couldn't say that about. Like I was just at Marshall and it was just too much of a small town for me. Same with some other places I visited; something just didn't click at those schools. It all clicked at Maryland."

Apparently his mother felt the same way. Davenport is very close with his mom and said he confides in her often. It was important that she had the same inklings about the Terps that her son did.

"My mom is ecstatic. She loves Maryland and she's behind my decision 100 percent," Davenport said. "She was very comfortable around the coaches and they treated her so well. She loved talking to Coach Edsall about the school, the academics and all that."

Although the Davenports are close, Jahrvis said they'll be OK with him being so far from home. He said he was encouraged to try different things growing up and to carve his own path.

"Being out of state doesn't bother me. I felt like being out of state was better for me, because a lot of guys around here want to stay home and be with their friends but I feel like that limits you," said Davenport, who mentioned that he lives in a nice community in Tampa. "I wanted to try something new and do my own thing. Maryland is a different place, and I feel like I can really do big things here on and off the field.

"I think I can do well [athletically], but they have Under Armour up here, there's a lot of connections you can make, and it will help prepare me for after college. I haven't decided exactly what I want to do yet, but it's a great school up here."

While on campus June 19, Davenport had a chance to take in a practice and tour the school with the staff. He said he spent most of his time with Edsall, his recruiter, Mike Locksley, recruiting coordinator John Dunn, assistant Ryan Steinberg, and receivers' coach Keenan McCardell.

It was the latter who left a lasting impression.

"I really liked Coach McCardell. He seems cool and I can't wait to get started working with him," Davenport said. "He played in the NFL for a long time and knows a lot about the position. Just watching him at the practice, he was really doing some things I liked. I can learn a lot from him."

Davenport has been in touch with Locksley for a good while now. He earned his Terps offer back during the May evaluation period and has been in contact with his UMD recruiter at least a couple times every week since.

"Coach Locks gave me a lot of info about the school, and he was the one that got me up here [to visit]," Davenport said. "He seemed like a really genuine dude, and someone that you can talk to about anything. He came down to my school and he's a great recruiter. But, like, all the coaches I met at Maryland are like that. I really loved the whole staff there. They treated us really well."

The Florida receiver pointed to the campus as a key reason why he chose the Terps as well. He said the city-like feel reminded him of home, and he liked how everything he could need is in a central location. Moreover, he praised the new facility plans, athlete dorms and Big Ten move.

"I really just liked the fact that it's so nice in College Park. I love it here and I could see myself living here," Davenport said. "The facilities are nice, and they're making some big changes with the bubble and the weight room and dorms. And the Big Ten, that's a great conference right there and I'll have a chance to prove myself against some great players."

The workout left an impression as well. Davenport keyed in on star receiver Stefon Diggs and came away raving.

"I didn't get to meet Stefon, but it's obvious why he's a great receiver. It was cool to watch him in action," Davenport said. "I also liked how on-point, coordinated and fast-paced [the practice] was. It was in-depth and detailed too, and I liked how the offense worked."

Speaking of the offense, Davenport said he'll be a slot receiver at Maryland. He is coming off a season where he recorded 39 receptions, 667 receiving yards (829 all-purpose) and 11 touchdowns. He currently runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.

"I read defenses really good, I break tackles, I move well in the open field and I obviously have speed," Davenport said. "I see myself like a Marquise Lee -- someone who can make a five-yard catch into a 70 yard play.

"I do have to work on my endurance mainly. Being able to run a 9 route four times in a row, and do it full-speed, I want to get to that level."

The Sunshine State product has actually only been playing football in earnest for three years. He said he really didn't play organized sports at all in middle school and only began in ninth grade in order to give him something to do after school. But what started as a mere hobby eventually turned into serious business once he flashed his wheels.

"What happened was they put me on jayvee as a freshman and I only played two games before they had to bring me up to varsity. I was too fast for the jayvee," said a laughing Davenport, who runs track as well. "Then I produced on varsity the rest of the year, and by my sophomore year I was one of the best receivers in the whole county. I just kept producing and producing, and now here I am today. I'm a Maryland Terp."

Indeed he is. Davenport said USF was under heavy consideration and finished second to Maryland, while Pittsburgh and Wake were firmly in the game as well.

"But once I saw Maryland, it was done," Davenport said. "It was over. I knew once I got here this is where I wanted to be."

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