Davis All About Terps, Plus Scouting Report

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Here is an interview and scouting report on Terps pledge Isaiah Davis.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Maryland pledge Isaiah Davis and his St. Stephen's/St. Agnes squad took on Georgetown Prep (Bethesda, Md.) Sept. 20 in Alexandria. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Davis racked up six tackles, three quarterback hurries, two tackles for loss and a sack in a 34-30 victory. He also had just over 100 yards rushing as a running back. Check out the scouting report on him and a postgame interview below:

Scouting Report

An aggressive, violent defender, Isaiah Davis has the capability to really bring it. He’s a potential thumper who delivers the boom, dropping offensive players on contact or even jettisoning his man backwards at times. Davis, who plays primarily defense end for St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, gets a good jump off the ball, rapidly diagnoses and reacts quickly. And when he meets the opposing player, in the hole or in space, it’s game over. Davis is not going to allow yards after contact -- and he’s not going to whiff on tackles either. He usually plays low and drives hard from his base, giving him even more pop when wrapping up.

On running plays, Davis does a fairly decent job defeating blocks, and seems to enter seek-and-destroy mode when backs are in the hole. He pursues relentlessly, scrapping to get his hand on the runner. It helps that he’s adept at moving through traffic, his footwork sound and deft.

Better yet, Davis has the agility and speed to defend in space. Though he’s ticketed for inside linebacker at Maryland, he can set the edge and bring down runners in the open field when moving laterally down the line. He has good speed, takes tight closing angles and wraps up well.

On passing downs, Davis displays active hands, and can deliver a stunning initial jab. He has enough speed and agility to maneuver around the blocker before slicing around backside, but he’s also quick enough to shoot right through a small gap to collapse the pocket. At this point he’s mainly a bull-rusher, though, relying on his power and strength to push into the backfield.

Davis also shows solid awareness and seems to have a high football IQ. For example, he threw his hands up in the quarterback’s passing lane when he was unable to reach him for a sack, and on another occasion, when he was one-on-one with a back on the edge, he funneled the runner inside instead of risking over-pursuing.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t note Davis’ imposing physical frame. This guy’s a muscle-bound rock with a thick chest, Popeye-like biceps and a stout, sturdy base. At 6-1, 220 pounds, Davis is probably maxed out physically, though there’s always room for strength development.

It should be noted that Davis is a gutsy and intense competitor. During the game he was injured and became ill, but fought through it and refused to come out.

To take his game up a notch, we’d like to see Davis become an even more potent downhill defender. We wants to see him really attack those gaps and go toe-to-toe with the big boys in the trenches. He’s certainly strong enough to hang inside and disengage from multiple blocks, but sometimes he lets blockers get into his body. Moreover, Davis has to make sure he consistently maintains leverage. Once in awhile he’ll get stood up and pushed off the ball, sapping his power.

Also, Davis has to iron out a few technical areas such as hand placement and tackling form. And sometimes he’ll over-pursue or make an “awkward” hit. At the high school level he can get away with that, because he’s got enough power to finish even when he’s not on-point, but at the FBS level elite backs might sidestep him or break the tackle.

Moreover, Davis has to continue honing his pass coverage skills, as it’s still rather new to him. He’s adept at playing in space, for sure, but there’s a bit of hip stiffness when he has to turn and run. Davis also has to make sure his feet don’t cross and he doesn’t get caught flatfooted in the open field.

As for intangibles, we want to see Davis give it all on every play. Granted, he does play both ways for St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, so naturally he’s winded by the end of the game, but there were a couple plays where he didn’t get a great initial push and failed to make a tackle. Last but not least, we’d like to see more “fire” out of Davis, or at least have a more commanding presence. It’s obvious he’s a quiet individual, but we’d like to see him assume that leadership role and take control of his defense.

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